A vaper with an e-cigarette exhales in Washington, D.C., last year.

A vaper with an e-cigarette exhales in Washington, D.C., last year. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Eva Hambach

ALBANY — The vaping industry is suing to nullify New York State's ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

The industry's trade group and two New York vaping companies filed the lawsuit in state court this week against the state's Health Department and public health council.

New York's ban comes as federal health officials investigate a mysterious surge of severe breathing illnesses linked to vaping.

The prohibition covers flavored e-cigarettes and other vaping products except for menthol and tobacco flavors. Retailers face an Oct. 4 deadline to remove merchandise from store shelves.

Vapor Technology Association Executive Director Tony Abboud said New York's ban unfairly targets former smokers who rely on flavors while failing to address marketing to youth.

New York, Michigan and Rhode Island recently banned flavored vaping products.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday he is directing his administration to take steps to include menthol in the ban that currently excludes tobacco and menthol flavors. Cuomo's spokesman said children's futures are at stake.

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