Last updated on August 11th, 2015
One Step Backward for the Greatest City in the World
New York City Council in a flourish of bravado and political posturing voted to include electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in the city’s public smoking ban. That means if you can’t smoke here, you can’t vape here either; – not in a restaurant; not in an office building lobby; not even in a public park or on the beach.
The so-called “anti-tobacco” measure issued for a product that is devoid of tobacco is yet another non-scientifically based law against a life-saving product that helps millions of tobacco smokers to become non-smokers.
It wasn’t until I read the council’s joint statement, that I had an “a-hah” moment, confirming a nagging suspicion. The law was passed not because council members believe e-cigarettes are known to be harmful (as are cigarettes), but for this reason:
“Because e-cigarettes are designed to look like cigarettes, they pose a problem to business owners and threaten effective enforcement of the Smoke-Free Air Act.”
– Christine Quinn, James Gennaro and Council Health Chair Maria del Carmen Arroyo
How will Mr. Policeman be able to tell who’s smoking and who’s vaping?
Kevin O’Flaherty of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said it best, despite the ridiculous analogy and the appalling absence of data:
“If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck and it sounds like a duck and it looks like a duck,..it is a duck.”
The NYC Council added the usual e-cig misconceptions for the ban; that e-cigarettes “normalize” the act of smoking and that the inhalation of nicotine makes quitting even harder. Really?
Legislators have given into the demands of overemotional paranoia-peddlers and have ignored the mounting evidence showing that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes. This does nothing but to convince smokers to keep smoking.
As a born and bred New Yorker, I’m appalled by the uneducated, speculative and self-serving reasons for banning the public use of e-cigarettes. Sadly, it just places another spot of rot on the Big Apple and another deterrent for smokers and would-be ex-smokers from even trying the most successful smoking alternative on the market.
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