NYC Mayor Bloomberg Bans E-Cigarettes on Last Day in Office

Image: NYC Mayor Bloomberg Bans E-Cigarettes on Last Day in Office

Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 05:35 PM

By Amy Woods

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The last day of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's term featured his signing into law 22 bills – one of which controversially prohibits electronic cigarettes in places where smoking is prohibited, CNN reported Tuesday.

The battery-run devices that serve as alternatives to customary cigarettes can be used in all locations where smokers are allowed to light up.

The e-cig ban, which already has started to heat up the Twitter-sphere, follows this summer's fiasco involving a stop on sales of 32-ounce soft drinks in restaurants and other eating establishments. The courts struck down that law.

Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Haliski said e-cigarettes are less addictive because they turn nicotine into a steam-like vapor that is smoke-free. However, they are not regulated by the FDA or any other federal agency.

Some longtime-smokers-turned-e-cig-users oppose the ban because the product has helped keep them from going back to the real thing.

Aaron David Ross told CNN that the lumping-in of e-cigs with customary cigarettes is harmful to those trying to kick the habit. Ross said he hasn't touched a cigarette in 2½ years after trying e-cigs.

Bloomberg said he's not convinced.

"It works about as well as patches, which is to say it really doesn't work," he said.

Thomas Glynn, of the American Cancer Society, said the city is doing more harm than good by amending the Smoke-Free Air Act in this manner.

"What we don't want to do is to take something out of the hands of people which could, in fact, help people stop using the traditional burn cigarette, which is the enemy," Glynn said.

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