New York Lawmakers Play Dirty With Electronic Cigarettes
According to reports and leaked documents from New York City officials, the electronic cigarette battle there is far from over. Things had seemed to be headed in a positive direction following a health committee meeting.
A massive contingent of electronic cigarette users attended the health committee meeting to protest measures that would adversely e-cigs — primarily by qualifying them as tobacco products. Regulators at the meeting claimed that the inclusion of e-cigs in the regulations was largely inadvertent and that that they would revisit the language. They largely insinuated that electronic cigarettes would be precluded from regulation.
That doesn’t seem to have happened. Some leaked documents seem to indicate that the new language now more strongly targeted toward electronic cigarettes than before. In particular, flavors other than tobacco and menthol are to be banned and use is to be relegated to the few remaining tobacco bars in the city.
This seems to go pretty against the following statement from Health Department Commissioner Farley.
I understand that the ecigarette manufacturers have raised a question about whether the definition of tobacco products here might inadvertently swept up ecigarettes, and if that is a concern of the Council I think that that is something that we can address in a subsequent conversation, but they were not written with that intent.
This does seem to suggest that e-cig were not intended targets and that the policies will be looked at to fix that. But Farley does a good job of saying that the issue will be looked into without any mention of what the outcome or focus might be.
CASAA’s Carl Phillips does a good job of running down just how misleading New York City officials have been on this issue.