It’s official – electronic cigarette use in New York City is to be restricted just as severely as regular tobacco. City council voted this week to enforce the controversial legislation, which could be one of the most significant anti-tobacco measure mayor Michael Bloomberg introduces before his departure from office.
New York recently became America’s first big city to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy cigarettes and tobacco products – a 43 to 8 majority vote will see electronic cigarettes covered by the same city laws.
The attempts of Bloomberg to create a healthier New York City have been met with a rather mixed response to say the least. Some have accused the mayor of pushing for a Orwellian Nanny-State that infringes on the freedom of choice all Americans are constitutionally entitled to, while others have called his moves nothing short of inspirational. Prior examples include his banning of trans fats and his failed attempt to outlaw the sale of large-sized soda drinks.
It’s now a foregone conclusion that Mr. Bloomberg will sign off on the bill, which will make it illegal to use electronic cigarettes anywhere in New York City that smoking is not allowed. This will include bars, restaurants, offices, movie theatres, transport stations, beaches, parks and more.
According to council members supporting the bill, allowing free use of electronic cigarettes in public places sends the wrong message to society as a whole that smoking is in fact less harmful than it really is.
Worse still, unregulated e-cigarette use has already proved to be dangerously attractive to younger smokers, primarily due to the large variety of flavors the liquid is available in – right now everything from bubble-gum to bacon.