The U.S. Surgeon General warns e-cigarette use is a growing public health concern. Sean Dowling (@seandowlingtv) has more.
New York state is banning electronic cigarettes indoors everywhere that traditional tobacco cigarettes are prohibited, such as restaurants, bars and other workplaces.
The ban goes into effect in 30 days, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Clean Indoor Air Act on Monday.
“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,” Cuomo said. “This measure closes another dangerous loophole in the law, creating a stronger, healthier New York for all.”
About 70% of the state’s cities already ban e-cigarettes, so the statewide policy captures the rest, according to the American Lung Association. Cuomo signed legislation in July that banned e-cigarettes in public and private schools.
The industry, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at $2.5 billion per year, contends that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco products. Smokers say inhaling the nicotine through a vapor produced by the devices helps them quit traditional cigarettes.
But the New York State Health Department warned that vaping carries its own risks because the aerosol emissions can include formaldehyde, cadmium found in batteries, benzene found in gasoline and the industrial solvent toluene.
Nicotine delivered through vaping can still be addictive, and is often marketed with flavors such as mint chocolate, milk and cookies, and melon candy, the department said. Vaping among high school students increased 900% from 2011 to 2015, according to a 2016 report from then-Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
“E-cigarettes often contain toxic chemicals in addition to nicotine, something bystanders should not be forced to breathe,” said state Sen. Kemp Hannon, a Republican from Garden City who sponsored the legislation. “With recent reports showing their use among minors increasing, New York must continue to work to regulate these devices in a common sense manner.”
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