Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and bill sponsor Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal today announced the passage of a bill that would ban the use of electronic cigarettes in certain indoor areas (A5955-B, Rosenthal).
"While electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are growing in popularity, little is known about the risks associated with smoking them," said Speaker Heastie. "E-cigarettes are currently unregulated putting New Yorkers at risk. This legislation would protect those who want to avoid secondhand exposure."
Passed legislation would change the definition of smoking in current health law to include the use of e-cigarettes. The addition would make restrictions relating to smoking in public areas applicable to e-cigarettes, banning the use of e-cigarettes under the Clean Indoor Air Act and certain outdoor areas.
"We know very little about the dangers associated with second-hand exposure to e-cigarettes, but recent studies suggest that they may contain more carcinogens than traditional tobacco products. Under these circumstances, it is unfair to allow nonsmokers to be subjected to potentially toxic chemicals," said Assemblymember Rosenthal. "In addition, after working for years to make workplaces, restaurants and so many other public spaces smoke-free, allowing the use of e-cigarettes indoors helps to re-normalize a habit that costs its users their lives. More than 60% of New York State counties agree, and have banned e-cigarette use in indoor public spaces. A patchwork regulatory scheme only confounds enforcement, and we have a responsibility to implement a statewide policy to protect all New Yorkers."