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.