New York City has had a strict ban on smoking in many public places like bars, restaurants, workplaces, stores and since 2002, with the addition of parks and public plazas in 2011. But even if that smoke isn’t really smoke, and is vapor from an e-cigarette, well now you can’t do that either, after Mayor Michael Bloomberg helped push a measure through the city council that extends the smoking ban to e-cigs.
The New York City Council passed the measure in a 43-8 vote in the last council meeting of 2013, perfect timing for the outgoing Mayor Bloomberg. If his critics called his a nanny administration before, well, at least he went out with a consistent bang?
The ban will likely be signed into law by Bloomberg, notes the Wall Street Journal, which is sure to hit the e-cigarette industry pretty hard in the city. The cigs don’t really emit a smoke, just a nicotine-laced liquid that goes into and out of the lungs as a vapor. Which makes this an anti-vaping measure, instead of anti-smoking.
NYC could soon be joined by cities like Los Angeles and Chicago as soon as January, as both cities are mulling over similar bans.
Supporters of e-cigarettes say the devices are less harmful than regular smokes, which makes them a useful tool to wean people off smoking, so taking those tools away could prevent that.
Those on the other side don’t think it’s enough to just be not as bad as cigarettes and that secondhand vapor is also a negative, while the nicotine will turn non-smokers into smokers.
“We’re grateful that New Yorkers will not be exposed to potentially unsafe secondhand emissions from electronic cigarettes,” said the head of the American Lung Association in the Northeast, in a statement.
It’s quite a blow to the makers of e-cigarettes, who are chiming in with their disappointment. The president of Logic Technology, which is a big player in the e-cig market, said the NYC ban doesn’t take the science into accounts.
“It’s really unfortunate. I find their line of reasoning flawed,” he told the WSJ. “It’s not based on science and there’s no foundation for this.”
New York City Extends Smoking Ban to E-Cigarettes [Wall Street Journal]