The City Council will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill to prohibit the use of batty-operated, tobacco-free vaporizers in places where people can’t smoke tobacco cigarettes, including restaurants, offices, parks and beaches.
First the city banned smoking in most public places. Now it’s moving to snuff out the use of smokeless electronic cigarettes as well.
The City Council announced Wednesday that it will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill prohibiting the use of the battery-operated, tobacco-free vaporizers in restaurants, offices, parks, beaches and other places where smoking regular cigarettes is not allowed.
The goal is to enact the new law by the end of the year, before the Council’s current session ends.
E-cigarettes have emerged as a trendy alternative to tobacco cigarettes, their popularity fueled by a perception that they are healthier and that they can help people kick conventional cigarette habits.
But anti-smoking advocates said there is no research showing that “vaping” e-cigarettes is safe or that the smokeless devices can help people leave smoking addictions behind.
The advocates say that e-cigs actually might interfere with attempts to quit smoking, because many e-cigarettes contain nicotine, the habit-forming stimulant contained in tobacco smoke.
The Council bill claims that the e-cigs may even increase the appeal of traditional smoking. “Children and youth who experiment with electronic cigarettes may become addicted to nicotine and then switch to smoking cigarettes,” the bill states.
The bill is sponsored by Councilman James Gennaro (D-Queens) and Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan).