ALBANY – The state legislature is looking into a law that would ban the use of e-cigarettes in places like offices and restaurants.
A bill before the state Senate and Assembly would add e-cigarettes to the list of products covered under the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans traditional smoking in certain indoor areas.
E-cigarettes are electronic vaporizers that let users inhale nicotine and exhale plumes of vapor.
The bill, which awaits action in both houses, also appears to be aimed at curbing children’s exposure to e-cigarettes at shops that sell them. Recent studies have shown that while the use of traditional tobacco products by teens has seen a drop, the use of e-cigarettes among teenagers, has actually been on the rise.
According to the Senate bill’s memo, it would require e-cigarette retailers not registered with the state Department of Taxation and Finance — such stores currently aren’t required to have a tobacco registration — to register with the Department of Health, opening them up to compliance checks.
Critics of e-cigarettes point to studies that show short-term adverse health effects, as well as a lack of studies looking at long-term impacts. Proponents have said that the e-cigarettes are far less harmful to users than traditional tobacco products and have helped smokers quit when other options have failed.
E-cigarettes also are not regulated by the FDA, though such regulations may be outlined in the coming months.