Within the next few months, smoking e-cigarettes could soon be strictly limited within New York State.
According to a June 18 Capital New York article, the state Assembly recently approved legislation that would significantly curtail users’ ability to smoke e-cigarettes, or “vape,” in public places. The bill, which passed the Assembly with an 80-49 vote, considers e-cigarettes a violation of the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act.
If passed by the state Senate, this bill would make New York the seventh U.S. state to limit use of e-cigarettes in lieu of FDA regulations. Last year, New York City banned e-cigarette use in most of its public places, the constitutionality of which was upheld by the Supreme Court.
In the span of just eight years, the e-cigarette market went from being virtually nonexistent to reaching a staggering $2.5 billion in annual sales by 2015. The rise of e-cigarettes throughout New York State hasn’t been all bad, however. In fact, these devices are helping many of the state’s teens and adults put down tobacco cigarettes for good.
According to a June 8 WGRZ article, the smoking rate for adults and teens across New York State has reached a record low. Currently, only 7.3% of youth and 14.5% of adults are smokers, the lowest smoking rate in the state’s recorded history.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo attributes the decline of smoking to persistent anti-smoking ad campaigns, combined with New York’s cigarette tax — the highest in the nation.
“With the lowest smoking rate in recorded history, it’s clear that New York state is becoming healthier than ever,” Cuomo said in a statement.
At the same time, it’s hard to deny that many former smokers are now weaning themselves off nicotine with the help of e-cigarettes. Yet with the $10 million in federal aid that the state recently received to expand its anti-smoking campaigns, prohibiting e-cigarette use in public might not lead to an increase in cigarette use after all.