New Yorkers for Smarter Smoking Alternatives (NYSSA) was formed to educate the public on electronic cigarettes, which are a safer smoking alternative. The day before Thanksgiving, at the eleventh hour, the New York City Council introduced a bill sponsored by James Gennaro that would ban electronic cigarette use in all locations where tobacco cigarette use is banned – commonly known as the Smoke Free Air Act.
NYSSA asserts that this regulation is incredibly premature and unreasonable. The long term effects of electronic cigarettes are currently unknown, so any passage of this bill would be premature. Regulation should be commensurate with harm. Prematurely regulating this inherently different product the same way as traditional tobacco is unjustified, especially when other tobacco alternatives – like nicotine patches and gum – are not subject to the same restrictions. Electronic cigarettes are completely distinct from tobacco cigarettes; therefore, they should be regulated differently. NYSSA believes that New York City Council Members need to thoroughly research the effects of electronic cigarettes before implementing any further regulations.
“It is clear that electronic cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes are inherently different products that should be regulated separately and distinctly,” says NYSSA Spokesman David Schwartz. “Council Member Gennaro seems to think it is safer to use other tobacco products in bars, such as hookah, rather than electronic cigarettes. This is unfounded and hypocritical. Gennaro thinks he can choose to ban electronic cigarettes just because he feels like it.”
NYSSA believes this legislation was hastily set in motion. More time should be given to the federal government to weigh in on the proper way to approach electronic cigarette regulation. NYSSA does not suggest that electronic cigarettes be free from regulation, but rather insist that it be reasonably regulated.
The coalition emphasizes that there is simply a lack of adequate information and conclusive scientific studies to draw such a close comparison between electronic cigarettes, which consists of the release of water vapor, and tobacco. Even during Health Commissioner Farley’s testimony at the public hearing on electronic cigarettes, he admitted that electronic cigarettes “are so new, we know very little about them.”
NYSSA stands strong in opposition to this premature bill and urges all New Yorkers to tell the members in City Council to vote against the ban.
We urge you to reach out to Speaker Quinn and your local Council Member. We also urge you to reach out to Council Member’s Ignizio, Gentile, Koslowitz and Weprin, who have expressed their intention to vote against the ban – we need to urge them to convince Speaker Quinn to remove this legislation from this year’s agenda. This regulation has been too hastily set in motion and must be set aside until the next administration. TAKE ACTION NOW!
*Please send the following letters to your respective New York City Council Members. The first letter is for speaker, Christine Quinn:
E-Cig Letter in opposition to Christine Quinn.pdf
This letter is for people to send to Council Members – particulary Weprin, Koslowitz, Ignizio and Gentile – to urge the Speaker to remove it from the agenda for the year and to regulate ecigs commensurate with harm and separate from tobacco. Letter in opposition to NYC Ecig RegulationLetter in opposition to NYC Ecig Regulation
Due to time sensitivity, it is important to send this letter to the following members:
Vincent Ignizio: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Koslowitz: Koslowitz@council.nyc.gov
Mark Weprin: MWeprin@Council.NYC.gov
Vincent Genile: email@example.com
See mail addresses on header of the letters. You can get email addresses for other council members here.
New York State is well on its way to voting on a bill to ban electronic cigarette use in all New York State locations where tobacco use is also banned. New York City just passed a similar law, we cannot let it happen to the entire state – it is just not acceptable. We must remind our state elected officials that electron cigarettes are completely distinct from tobacco cigarettes; therefore, they should be regulated differently and reasonably. They are inherently different products and any proposed ban, or even additional taxation, would be incredibly premature.
We urge you to reach out to your local State Senator and Assembly Member to express your outrage to these bills that would severely restrict electronic cigarette access and usage. The Food and Drug Administration has already started to voice their findings, so we must urge New York State to wait before they arbitrarily pass legislation that may end up being contrary to the FDA’s findings.
We ask that you send the following letter to your local State Senator and Assembly Member:
WHEN: December 4, 2013 @ 10am
WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, New York, NY
WHAT: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the regulation of electronic cigarettes (this is a pre-considered bill, therefore it will move quickly). If passed, this legislation would prohibit electronic cigarette usage in public places all over New York City.
WHO: Health Committee Council Members
- Maria Del Carmen Arroyo
- Inez E. Dickens
- Mathieu Eugene
- Julissa Ferreras
- Rosie Mendez
- Joel Rivera
- Deborah Rose
- Peter Vallone
- James Van Bramer
- Albert Vann
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
You can contact Health Committee Members and express your concerns about the proposed regulations. We encourage you to email, call or even Tweet to the Council Members and let them know how you feel about these premature restrictions. You can also to attend the public hearing in opposition to the proposed regulations. If you wish to testify at the hearing, please show up at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to sign up with the Sergeant at Arms. Let’s fight this together and show City Council why electronic cigarettes are not to be subject to the same regulations as tobacco! In addition to being a successful alternative to the dangers of smoking tobacco, please keep the following in mind as well:
- Electronic cigarettes encourage economic growth
- While the FDA has discovered trace amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in some electronic cigarettes, they contain the same trace levels as the FDA-approved nicotine patch.
- Studies show that electronic cigarettes are just as good as the nicotine patch and other cessation products.
- The vapor from electronic cigarettes has no smell that affects other patrons or employees in any establishment
- The FDA was set to issue regulations by October 31st, but have they have yet to offer guidance on how these devices must be regulated – they are still expected to issue their findings.
We’re taking swift action against this bill and encourage you to join us. Please sign up below and we’ll update you about our actions and how you can help.