New York City Council considers e-cigarette ban

New York City Council considers e-cigarette ban

Posted: Updated:

NEW YORK (AP) — New Yorkers who say electronic cigarettes helped them quit smoking asked city lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday not to ban the nicotine inhalers from restaurants, workplaces and other indoor spaces, saying there isn't enough evidence they pose a health risk to justify their exclusion.

"They have been instrumental, for me, to remain smoke free," said Andrew Martin, an 18-year-old who said he took up smoking cigarettes at age 16. He also groused that he didn't believe public health experts who warned that the inhalers, which often look just like real cigarettes, might be dangerous. "These people would try to get you to prohibit penicillin ... if there was grant money in it."

Public health officials have asked the City Council to enact legislation that would add e-cigs to the 12-year-old law that drove smokers out of the city's taverns, nightclubs and office buildings, and forced them to satisfy their nicotine habits on the frigid (or broiling) sidewalks.

Today, the sight of someone puffing away indoors is somewhat shocking in New York, but it is becoming more common again as electronic cigarettes become more popular. Proponents of a ban told the council's health committee that e-cigs are threatening to undermine one of the key benefits of the original smoking ban, which was to make it socially unacceptable to smoke indoors.

"Waiting to act could jeopardize the progress we've made in the last 12 years," said the city's health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley. He also said that electronic cigarettes make enforcement of the rules against tobacco smoking more difficult, since the two products look so much alike.

Farley added that too little was known about electronic cigarettes to say whether they are safe to use, or whether they actually help people quit smoking for good.

The hearing featured entrepreneurs who have invested in e-cigarette companies, advocacy groups that argued both for and against the proposed ban, and so called "vapers," or people who have traded lungfuls of tobacco smoke for the less odorous puffs of vaporized liquid nicotine given off by the battery-powered electronic cigarettes.

Some puffed on the devices as they testified, and talked about how much healthier they have felt since giving up tobacco.

Health advocates have raised concerns that the inhalers, which have soared in popularity, can get people hooked on nicotine just like cigarettes, and might be taken up by people who have never smoked before, rather than only people trying to quit.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:47:22 GMT
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
  • Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:34 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:34:04 GMT
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
  • Joan Rivers remains in NYC hospital

    Joan Rivers remains in NYC hospital

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:54 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:54:57 GMT
    Hollywood legend Joan Rivers, 81, remains in critical but stable condition at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. The comedian and TV host was undergoing an outpatient procedure at a clinic on the Upper East Side on Thursday when she went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, issued a statement saying her mother was "resting comfortably."

    Hollywood legend Joan Rivers, 81, remains in critical but stable condition at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. The comedian and TV host was undergoing an outpatient procedure at a clinic on the Upper East Side on Thursday when she went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, issued a statement saying her mother was "resting comfortably."

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices