NY Magazine published an article Friday afternoon revealing that new anti-electronic cigarette ordinances have been presented by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. If passed, these ordinances would include restrictions and limitations on electronic cigarettes. Three tobacco-related bills are expected to be presented and voted on by the New York City Health Committee in the coming weeks and the language would change the definition of “tobacco products” under city law to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts and accessories. In addition, these proposed ordinances would require e-cigarette retail stores to hide e-cigarette products in their stores, ban promotional coupons and increase the age that New Yorkers must be to purchase cigarette products to 21.
As most informed electronic cigarette users are aware, the majority of e-cigarettes contain zero or less than one percent tobacco. Unfortunately, if e-cigarette advocates sit by and allow these bills to pass, New York City would identify e-cigarettes and related products, parts and accessories as traditional cigarette products. “We encourage all SFATA members and e-cigarette advocates in New York to write the members of the New York City Health Committee and tell them to reject all three bills,” said Cynthia Cabrera, Executive Director of SFATA.org, a non-profit advocacy and educational group for the electronic cigarette industry.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe even discussed Mayor Bloomberg’s move to regulate and ban e-cigarettes in New York City on Monday’s show with Former White House Advisor for Health Policy, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Although Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborogh advocated for electronic cigarettes during the segment, Dr. Emanual revealed several fallacy’s about e-cigarettes and the industry as a whole. “Dr. Emanual stated in the MSNBC segment that electronic cigarettes are marketed to children but that is absolutely false – only adults 18 and older can buy e-cigarettes and e-cig providers are limited to minimal advertising and marketing avenues,” said Cabrera. “Reputable electronic cigarette companies like V2 Cigs, GreenSmoke and Vape NY do not perform any radio, TV or Internet ad promotions, which minimizes the exposure of e-cigarettes to the general population, including individuals under the age of 18.”
Mayor Bloomberg’s regulation ordinances also call to ban all sales of e-cigarettes or e-liquid in flavors other than tobacco, menthol, mint and wintergreen citing that other “fuity” flavors appeal to children, although there is absolutely no proof to back this theory up.
The ordinances have yet to be voted on and although the next meeting of the Health Committee is scheduled for August 22, 2013, the exact details of the next meeting have not been disclosed yet. In the meantime, SFATA encourages all electronic cigarette advocates in the New York area to contact the Members of the NYC Health Committee and ask them to reject all e-cig ordinances.