New York has banned the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, bars and other places where smoking tobacco products is prohibited.
New York Law Bans Use Of E-Cigarettes In Public Places
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday, Oct. 23, signed the bill that added e-cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act, effectively banning their use in places where smoking tobacco products is not allowed.
The ban will take effect in 30 days.
The current law only restricts smoking substances that contain tobacco, such as cigars, pipes and cigarettes, in public places.
Cuomo said that the new law closes a loophole in the current state law as well as creates a stronger and healthier state for all. Although some local governments in New York already have laws that restrict the use of these devices in public places, the governor said the bill will make the law consistent across the state.
Earlier this year, Cuomo signed a legislation that immediately banned the use of e-cigarettes on all school grounds in New York. A 2016 study by the New York State Department of Health revealed that 20 percent of children had tried using e-cigarettes, marking a two-fold increase from two years prior.
E-Cigarette As A Smoking Cessation Tool
Some researchers suggest that e-cigarettes can help smokers give up cigarette smoking. One study, for instance, suggests that without e-cigarettes, nearly 32 percent of tobacco smokers would continue with their addiction until 2050.
Potential Dangers Of Using E-Cigs
There are, however, concerns that the devices can serve as a gateway for some people to start using tobacco products.
"We're concerned that kids who experiment with e-cigarettes may be moving on to other types of tobacco products, like combustible cigarettes, which are arguably a lot more dangerous," said Jessica Barrington-Trimis, from University of Southern California, who was part of a study on e-cigarettes that was published in the journal Pediatrics in 2016.
E-cigarettes, e-hookah, and vaping pens may contain nicotine. Some ingredients present in e-cigarettes are also toxic. In a 2015 study, Portland State University researchers found that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes contains high amounts of formaldehyde, a respiratory irritant that can also cause cancer, asthma and allergies.
"These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but the reality is they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them," Gov. Cuomo said. "This measure closes another dangerous loophole in the law, creating a stronger, healthier New York for all."