The New York State Assembly has approved legislation that would add e-cigarettes to the existing Clean Indoor Air Act. This bill was originally designed to ban smoking of traditional tobacco products indoors at public facilities such as bars and restaurants, as well as a number of outdoor venues like school parks.
The addition of e-cigarettes to this New York vape ban has people riled up on both sides of the issue, but it is not yet the law of the state.
We have previously reported on this bill when it was first introduced as a proposal to the State House. After several days of deliberation and hearings, it appears that this bill is finally moving forward.
The bill was first proposed by Rep. Rosenthal, citing studies by the FDA that classify vapor emissions as an aerosol with traces of several different chemicals in the mix. In addition, Rosenthal mentions a CDC study concerning the growing use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students as a primary reason to stop the spread of the technology before it takes hold.
Other representatives have agreed with this stance, and the bill is now being forwarded to the Senate where it will undergo another round of discussion and consideration before a vote is taken.
Many in the vaping community are working hard to present additional evidence to dissuade the Senate from passing this bill into law. Those who keep up with the research have argued that both the FDA and CDC studies are being taken out of context and that, when compared to the chemical levels present in traditional cigarettes, the risk associated with e-cigarettes is as much as 95% lower.
In addition, the vapor industry has adapted rapidly to new research, so some of the chemicals that the FDA study claimed to have found are no longer used in e-liquids. Vaping advocates have also pointed out that many other countries around the world are allowing e-cigarettes to be exempt from smoking bans specifically to help people quit smoking.
It will now be up to the New York Senate to determine whether or not the ban makes sense to the legislators in the context of public health and should be brought to a vote, while the vaping community looks on anxiously.