ALBANY, N.Y. -- Senators in New York passed a measure to classify vaping under its cigarette-smoking laws, moving the state closer to banning e-cigarette use in restaurants, bars and offices, according to the New York Daily News.
Approved on June 19, the measure passed unanimously, 62-0, in the Republican-controlled Senate and now heads back to the Democrat-controlled Assembly, which approved a similar bill earlier in the year. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, the first bill’s sponsor, said the differences between Senate and Assembly bills were relatively minor, according to the Daily News.
“It’s overdue,” Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon, R-Nassau County, told the news outlet. Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed similar e-cigarette restrictions in his budget earlier this year and is expected to sign the final version of the bill, the report said.
“The New York Senate’s decision to treat vaping the same as conventional smoking is both shortsighted and potentially harmful,” officials with the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank based in Arlington Heights, Ill., said in a statement. “Vaping is not the same as smoking tobacco products, and many smokers use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, thereby reducing the likelihood of suffering in the future from serious tobacco-related illnesses such as lung cancer.”