New York City Council considers e-cigarette ban - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

New York City Council considers e-cigarette ban

Posted: Updated:

NEW YORK (AP) — New Yorkers who say electronic cigarettes helped them quit smoking asked city lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday not to ban the nicotine inhalers from restaurants, workplaces and other indoor spaces, saying there isn't enough evidence they pose a health risk to justify their exclusion.

"They have been instrumental, for me, to remain smoke free," said Andrew Martin, an 18-year-old who said he took up smoking cigarettes at age 16. He also groused that he didn't believe public health experts who warned that the inhalers, which often look just like real cigarettes, might be dangerous. "These people would try to get you to prohibit penicillin ... if there was grant money in it."

Public health officials have asked the City Council to enact legislation that would add e-cigs to the 12-year-old law that drove smokers out of the city's taverns, nightclubs and office buildings, and forced them to satisfy their nicotine habits on the frigid (or broiling) sidewalks.

Today, the sight of someone puffing away indoors is somewhat shocking in New York, but it is becoming more common again as electronic cigarettes become more popular. Proponents of a ban told the council's health committee that e-cigs are threatening to undermine one of the key benefits of the original smoking ban, which was to make it socially unacceptable to smoke indoors.

"Waiting to act could jeopardize the progress we've made in the last 12 years," said the city's health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley. He also said that electronic cigarettes make enforcement of the rules against tobacco smoking more difficult, since the two products look so much alike.

Farley added that too little was known about electronic cigarettes to say whether they are safe to use, or whether they actually help people quit smoking for good.

The hearing featured entrepreneurs who have invested in e-cigarette companies, advocacy groups that argued both for and against the proposed ban, and so called "vapers," or people who have traded lungfuls of tobacco smoke for the less odorous puffs of vaporized liquid nicotine given off by the battery-powered electronic cigarettes.

Some puffed on the devices as they testified, and talked about how much healthier they have felt since giving up tobacco.

Health advocates have raised concerns that the inhalers, which have soared in popularity, can get people hooked on nicotine just like cigarettes, and might be taken up by people who have never smoked before, rather than only people trying to quit.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:34 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:34:20 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
  • Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:00:35 GMT
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
  • Giving your college-bound kids their space

    Giving your college-bound kids their space

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:31:50 GMT
    Going off to college is an exciting time for the entire family, especially for the upcoming freshman. But with technology, parents can be in touch all the time. What's too much and what's just enough? Freshman move-in day seems to be harder on the parents than the students at Stony Brook University.
    Going off to college is an exciting time for the entire family, especially for the upcoming freshman. But with technology, parents can be in touch all the time. What's too much and what's just enough? Freshman move-in day seems to be harder on the parents than the students at Stony Brook University.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices