The City of New York held the first of several meetings by their Public Health committee this week seeking to enact new regulations on the vapor industry. As many as four new regulations could come into play in New York City, changing the landscape of the city’s vape laws and potentially influencing the vapor industry altogether. 

Impact on E-Cig Dealers

Two of the proposals currently working their way through the Health Committee have to do with regulations imposed on retailers, rather than on vapers themselves.

The most notable part of the plan will require all retailers of e-cigarettes and e-cigarette supplies to be licensed along the same lines as traditional tobacco retailers. The bill would also limit the number of retailers allowed within each district of the city.

Meanwhile, another measure plans to increase the cost of the current license from the current $110 to $340, a more than 300% increase. It is unclear whether the e-cigarette retail license would follow this same pay scale or would have its own rate set.
Either way, vape shop owners seem most perturbed by the possibility of being shut out of the market due to district caps on the number of retailers allowed, especially if they will be competing with traditional tobacco retailers for turf. 

Impact on Vapers

A new tax bill has been introduced which would set a range of new taxes on cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco, although it does not directly mention e-cigarette products. However, it does bar retailers from delivering e-cigarette products to consumers outside of their shop.

Perhaps the most striking bit of legislation introduced has to do with vaping in cars. Up until now, cars have been considered the private domain of the consumer, and the city was unable to ban smoking or vaping inside of one’s own personal vehicle. This new measure bans all smoking and vaping in any vehicle where a child of eight years of age or younger is present. This particular bill is being hotly debated as to whether or not it oversteps the boundaries of private ownership, and whether it will provide enough of a health impact to truly make a difference. There are also a lot of questions about how well this law could be enforced in general. 

Currently, all of the above legislation has been laid over by the committee for further consideration. Several amendments have been proposed, which will require additional debate. A vote has not yet been scheduled on the proposals.