New York Restricts Vaping

State includes e-cigarettes in smoking bans in public indoor spaces

ALBANY, N.Y. -- In a move that’s becoming popular in more states and municipalities, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Oct. 23 banning the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices in public indoor places in the state.

The measure closes a loophole in the state Clean Indoor Air Act that already regulated smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes in public indoor locations. The new measure adds e-cigarettes, vaping pens and e-hookahs to the list.

“These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, but the reality is they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them,” Cuomo said.

David Clement, North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center, Arlington, Va., said in a press release that the ban is a misguided policy.

“Treating vaping as if it’s traditional tobacco smoke is going to be a public-health and law-enforcement nightmare," Clement said. “If public health is the ultimate goal, then why would the state enact legislation that limits vape use and discourages the transition from smoking to vaping? Not only does this prohibition create an obstacle for people quitting smoking, it’s also a difficult policy to regulate. With the emergence of smokeless vaporizers, such a ban would be nearly unenforceable.”

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