New York Moves Towards Total E-Cigarette Ban

The New York State Assembly has voted overwhelmingly 125-0 to ban e-cigarettes [e-cigs]; a product which has already been banned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and New Zealand, restricted in Finland, Malaysia, and Singapore, pending restriction in the UK as a drug, and the subject of law suits by attorneys general in several states, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

The decision followed an email sent by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to New York’s legislators seeking to correct misinformation they apparently received from marketers and others. ASH previously helped persuade New Jersey and Suffolk County, NY, to ban the use of e-cigarettes in no-smoking sections.

ASH’s email noted that the FDA, the only agency both authorized and qualified to evaluate whether e-cigs are both safe and effective, has reported that e-cig use poses “acute health risks,” that “the dangers posed by their toxic chemicals . . . cannot seriously be questioned,” and that e-cigs have caused a wide variety of potentially serious problems “including racing pulse, dizziness, slurred speech, mouth ulcers, heartburn, coughing, diarrhea, and sore throat.” It ruled they are “illegal”

Virtually all of the major national and well-respected medical and antismoking organizations have also voiced strong concerns about the risks posed by e-cigarettes, and urged restrictions on their sales. These include the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence.

ASH also pointed out that the FDA, in its own words, “is concerned that electronic cigarettes, cigars, or pipes may introduce young people to nicotine use which may lead to an increase in the use of conventional tobacco products with well-known, adverse, health consequences. Additionally, it is unclear what health effects these products could have on users or if misuse or product failure could lead to nicotine poisoning or other serious adverse health consequences.”

The FDA also warned that “conference participants stressed the importance of parents being aware of the health and marketing concerns associated with e-cigarettes. It was stated that parents may want to tell their children and teenagers that these products are not safe to use. . . . Of particular concern to parents is that e-cigarettes are sold without any legal age restrictions, and are available in different flavors (such as chocolate, strawberry and mint) which may appeal to young people. . . . In addition, the devices do not contain any health warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes.”

Although some users claim that the products helped them to quit smoking, ASH countered by citing the FDA’s own findings: “at this time, we are not aware of any data establishing electronic cigarettes, cigars, or pipes as generally recognized among scientific experts as safe and effective. . . . There may be a perception among some users that electronic cigarettes, cigars, or pipes are safer alternatives to conventional tobacco products. There may also be a perception that these products are a safe and effective means to quit smoking conventional forms of tobacco. However, FDA is not aware of any scientific data to support those perceptions.”

Michael Eriksen, ScD, the former director of CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health and an FDA adviser warned: “I have seen no evidence that people switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes or other smokeless tobacco products. If you look at how smokeless products are marketed, they are sold as something to use at times you can’t smoke. The implication is you will increase nicotine exposure, not reduce smoking,”

ASH also raised concerns not yet addressed by the FDA: the extent to which the vapor exhaled by e-cig users — including propylene glycol (a respiratory irritant used in antifreeze and known to cause respiratory tract infections), nicotine (a deadly and addictive drug which can help trigger heart attacks), and other substances the FDA labels as “carcinogens” and “toxins” — could threaten the health of nearby nonsmokers.

ASH cited a typical reaction from a sensitive bystander: “My first exposure to e-cigarettes was last year in a hospital. Smokers were made to go outside but 3 e-smokers plus 2 staff were using the e-cigarettes inside . . . I have lupus and the vapor irritated my nose, eyes, throat, and chest, plus the nicotine was making me feel nauseous so there must have been significant quantities in the side-vapor.”

ASH, America’s first antismoking organization, and the one which started the nonsmokers’ rights movement by first getting smoking restricted and ultimately banned on airplanes and in many public places, believes that nonsmokers should not be subjected to the vapors emitted by e-cig users unless and until they have conclusively been shown to be completely safe, even to children, the elderly, those at increased risk, and those with special medical problems.

Public interest law professor John Banzhaf of ASH, argues that there is no possible justification for subjecting the great majority of Americans who are nonsmokers to the totally unnecessary risks posed by a mixture of toxins and carcinogens. Even if e-cigarettes did help some smokers quit — which the FDA denies — “it’s your monkey, keep him off my back.”

Professor of Public Interest Law at GWU,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
FELLOW, World Technology Network, and
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
America’s First Antismoking Organization
2013 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006, USA
(202) 659-4310 // (703) 527-8418

133 responses to “New York Moves Towards Total E-Cigarette Ban

  1. This is amazing!! I don’t know what to say or think of our Goverment. Its really getting bad.

    I have been using e-cigs for about 6 months now, havent smoked. I feel better, and I had pretty bad lungs! been smoking for 30 years this is the only thing that helped. and of course the people I bought my kits from are WONDERFUL!! I can say I couldnt have done it with out there help, I was able to call or e-mail with questions anytime! so I do hope we dont have to pay an extra 5.00 in taxes. Oh I got my e-cigs at Wonderful!! I done with the real ones.

  2. This is complete and utter bullshit. I don’t smoke anymore thanks to my e-cig. The device has saved my health and my life. I guarantee that I will not stop vaping. Even if i have to buy it like i used to buy my drugs in high school.

  3. heather laporte

    Really NY? Ok, you wanted me to quit smoking-and with the e-cig I was able to after 26 years. Now, you wish to remove the tool that enabeled me to quit? I’ll have to go back to smoking! What is wrong with you ppl? It’s my body & my health. I dont mind not vaping around other people, but leave ME alone!

  4. Christian Laverty

    This really worries me. I’ve been using my ecig for about 2 months and have not smoked a single cig since. The government wants YOU to smoke so they can make money, but at the same time they take so many freedoms away from the smoker. What people will do for money always amazes me…

    “Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses”

  5. How many tobacco lobbyists are behind this? They are a powerful lot and cigarettes are not banned.

  6. If they attempt to ban this then they need to ban cars, hairspray, perfume, and medical inhalers.

  7. Martin Podjski

    If anything, make it so you show ID to buy them and must be over 21…..but don’t just ban them for everybody! Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of chemicals, many are carcinogenic, and the smoke is also harmful to other people in the area. E-cigarettes contain a small fraction of the chemicals and the proven carcinogen in it is nicotine, which is also in regular cigarettes, and you can get e-cigarettes that don’t even have the nicotine, just flavorings. Why do they say this is a dangerous product when cigarettes, which are legal for over age 21, are clearly more dangerous and definately cause cancer and definately kill people?

    Sure kids can get addicted to nicotine from them, but they can also get addicted to nicotine from regular cigarettes and they are much more dangerous. And it’s harder but not impossible for kids to get cigarettes. Just put an age requirement of 21 on e-cigarettes, but don’t just ban them for everybody while still selling the cancer causing regular cigarettes which are definately killers.

  8. What a bad example to the rest of the world.

  9. Shame on NYS for banning these !

  10. I’m always amazed at the fascist things these people do in New York! I also heard they forbade people from smoking out in the open, namely in beaches and parks - excuse me, but isn’t that fascism? I’m still waiting for the day when governments totally ban cigarettes (a well known habit in America, like the ban on alcohol which only led to mass crime and people drinking more) but that’ll never happen since they get so much money from taxes and are so well related to tobacco lobbyists… I’ve been a smoker for long and I like it but as I’m getting worried I’m seriously becoming interested in e-cigarettes. Otherwise, someday I’ll just quit and it’s like that: they take this away from you and then that and then that until all you ever do is work and breathe. Are they gods perchance? Listen, I’m not American (but I still remember from visiting when the US was a very nice place)but there are two places I won’t ever be visiting anymore: one is Rome, since they decided to tax tourists in every way they could, which is simply “Italianesque” in the worse sense; the other is New York. Shame on these 125 fascists!

  11. Heywood Jablomi NY

    Here’s the truth: NY makes an insane amount of money on the revenue from the rediculously high price of regular cigarettes…. 15 bucks a pack? are they out of their minds? and now they stand to lose more revenue from the sales of e-cigs. They want to ban them, or regulate them and tax the $hit out of them … It’s all about money, and that is all. It’s not about health, they couldn’t care less. It’s all about how much money they can make, or how much they stand to lose.

  12. like most of the posters above, i’m flabbergasted with this development… i’ve been a smoker for 45 year (yes FORTY FIVE years) and haven’t smoked in over a year thanks to these things… i agree, follow the money

  13. Martin Podjski

    That comment makes a lot of sense. But don’t they realize that people are dying decades earlier than they have to by smoking cigarettes, and e-cigarettes have been an effective way for them to quit smoking?

    I find it funny that the reasons they give for outlawing e-cigs are small ones like they are an irritant for some people, but they never mention that regular cigarettes can cause cancer and death. I also thought it was comical that the article says one of the reasons e-cigs should be banned is that “they contain nicotine (a deadly and addictive drug which can help trigger heart attacks)”, BUT THEY NEVER MENTION THAT REGULAR CIGARETTES ALSO CONTAIN NICOTINE. They’re talking like regular smoking is just fine but we have to outlaw the deadly e-cigarettes, even though they help people quit smoking and add decades to their lifespan.

  14. I bet if the government were allowed to put massive taxes on e-cigs like they do regular cigarettes then e-cigs would be WELCOME by the gov.

    Unbelievable. They want you to ban e-cigs because they are cutting into the revenue from analog cigs.

    I started smoking e-cigs one month ago and already I breathe better and have more energy. I am stocking up in case the morons ban them.

    Our government sucks.

  15. heard a lot of this before, but i truely only have one question. what specific carcinogens are they referring to. or even toxic chemicals for that matter. if we were discussing traditional tobacco cigarettes, ASH and the FDA, could recite them in alphabetical order. yet funny enough in this article and may similar to it no one seems to mention the specifics. kind of reminds me of the Bush administration and the WMD’s, where is the proof? lolol

    and i guess what really cracks me uup is that all the negatives mentioned about the e-cig, is a pale comparison to the traditional tobacco products. so my advice is this either cough a couple of times, or demand Big Tobacco release the testies!!!! LOLOL SMH

  16. HOG WASH!! E-cigarettes should NOT NOT NOT be banned. I have just started using the e-cig and have not touched a regular cigarette since and do not want to. It is not a stop smoking tool, it is an alternative to smoking, with one major exception… NO CARCINOGENS!!! Yes, I still get my nicotine, so what. How about I don’t get the tar or formaldahyde or any of the other HARMFUL by products, and guess what no one else does either. The FDA and government does not want Ecigs around because it hurts the government’s income from tobacco taxes, which is huge! SO the FDA and government will endorse tobacco, known killer of millions, but not a little ecig? SHAME!!!

  17. Propylene glycol is used:

    * As a solvent in many pharmaceuticals, including oral, injectable and topical formulations. Notably, diazepam, which is insoluble in water, uses propylene glycol as its solvent in its clinical, injectable form.[5]
    * As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520
    * As an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters
    * As a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, shampoo, mouth wash, hair care and tobacco products
    * As a carrier in fragrance oils
    * As an ingredient in massage oils
    * In hand sanitizers, antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions
    * In smoke machines to make artificial smoke for use in firefighters’ training and theatrical productions
    * In electronic cigarettes, as a vaporizable base for diluting the nicotine liquid
    * As a solvent for food colors and flavorings
    * As an ingredient, along with wax and gelatin, in the production of paintballs
    * As a moisture stabilizer (humectant) for snus (Swedish style snuff).
    * As a cooling agent for beer and wine glycol jacketed fermentation tanks
    * As a non-toxic antifreeze for winterizing drinking water systems, and in applications where the used antifreeze eventually will be drained into the soil, water, or a septic system.[6]
    * As a less-toxic antifreeze in solar water heating systems
    * As a solvent used in mixing photographic chemicals, such as film developers
    * In cryonics
    * As a working fluid in hydraulic presses
    * As a coolant in liquid cooling systems
    * To regulate humidity in a cigar humidor
    * As the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles
    * As an additive to pipe tobacco to prevent dehydration.
    * To treat livestock ketosis
    * As the main ingredient in deodorant sticks.
    * To de-ice aircraft.[7]
    * As an ingredient in UV or blacklight tattoo ink
    * As a lubricant in air conditioning compressors.
    * As a wetting agent, used to determine drying time in paints and coatings

  18. Hey, people should just be happy we are not hurting them. gosh, i thought we were in a freedom country. If there is side effects, fine, tell us , and let us decide. I love my cigs, i smoke and e cig. but i am getting to really love ecigs. I feel free to get my nicotine without hurting no one but me, give it a rest. this is suppose to be America, land of the free.

  19. jamie mckinney

    The FDA needs to do a real study of how many people e-cigs have helped stop smoking. If anything they shuld push other smokers to smoker e-cigs too, but ofcourse then they wouldnt be making all that money from medical bills of cancer patients who never had the chance to quit using e-cigs. The government lies, they dont want people to stop smoking, they want us to smoke the cigs that they tax and put the prices on and then they want us to keep smoking them so we get sick from the chemicals that they have that the e-cigs dont so that they can bill us for medical care that we obviously dont have enough money to pay. So heres the thing…our children arent going to have to worry about dying from cigs, they’ll have to think about dying from starvation because of having to pay our medical bills after we’ve died because the government didnt give us a chance to quit using e-cigs, which is safer around non-smokers like our kids.

  20. jamie mckinney


  21. This is ridiculous and we all know that corruption and greed is the real driving force behind trying to ban e-cigs. They are putting the burden of proof on the wrong part! They say, there is no data to show that they are safer… but what they’re NOT saying is that there is no proof that they are worse! The only things in my e-cig liquid are water, flavoring, and nicotine. There are over TWO THOUSAND carcinogens in regular cigarettes! Second hand smoke is so horrible and terrible that they’re going to try to ban it completely, yet alcohol is legal!!! How many people die per year from a drunk driver hitting them? How many wives are killed by drunken husbands? They won’t ban alcohol, but they’ll try to ban e-cigs! e-cigs are far safer simply because they don’t have all the cancer causing agents in them, but we all know why they don’t want them around.. because they’ll cut into the profits of the tobacco industry and the tax revenues of the government. Our gov tells the Afghanistan government that they need to root out corruption, HA! What a bunch of hypocrites!

  22. We need to band together and ban the government by any means necessary. We have the most corrupt government in the world. This is supposed to be a free country and that means that all of the do gooders need to mind their own f**king business and stay out of mine.

    All of these people regulating what we can and can’t do are actually the minority and it’s time we put them in their place. By force if necessary.

  23. Martin Podjski

    Enough of this banning or overrunning the government talk. That’s not gonna happen and it makes you look like kooks. Almost all the people don’t think that way. But what would be nice is if each of us would write a letter to the New York state assembly and ask them (nicely) just what they were thinking. It just doesn’t make sense banning them, especially while still keeping regular cancer causing cigarettes legal.

  24. The Ecig has helped me quit smoking the harmful cigs that our goverment still allows to sell. This is Bullsh@t. Everyone needs to join together to stop our goverment from taking our rights away!!! This was a great invention for smokers who want to quit, im a prime candidate for it. i was smokine 2 packs a day and after a week i was off a normal cig. There is no way we should let the banning of these ecigs take affect. Someone needs to do a study on how many people have quit, this would prove to the none believers how this helpful fake somke helps and not hurts. (Some people in the big office need a real reality check.) You know what i still dont use the damn thing in public places, cause im so used to not smoking in public!!!!!!!!!!!! Hear this!!!

  25. see that florida is jumping on the bandwagon also, figures now to go reg a new car , 500 bucks, to go buy gas, 4 bucks , pac of cigs, 7 bucks, not like the state is under bad goverment, and our governer now wants to do this? no wounder 4000 floridians are leaveing everyday, what next , we wake up and have to go out in our yards and put up a natzi flag, saying hello, and doing the hitler salute.. this is bs, not like we are not getting it bad enough by bending over for everthing else, now this?what next. oh wait there will be a tax on the amount of air you can beathin per day.

  26. This is absurd. My spouse smoked for over 14 years, and ONLY with a combination of the patch and e-cig was he finally able to stop. The e-cig also solves the issue of second-hand smoke, and contains almost nothing else but nicotine, unlike real cigs filled with toxic materials and chemical solvants.

    Sometimes I’m amazed at the stupidity of things… this has done nothing but HELP people quit smoking! I can’t imagine how much better long-term health will be because of this e-cig. I would buy them illegally if it meant he’d stay off real cigs, NO DOUBT.

  27. 45 years a tobacco smoker…Nothing I tried including the patch, gum, hypnoses, or cold turkey worked…I’m a non tobacco user today because of e-cigs…The worst I’ve heard about e-cigs in the increase heart rate from the nicotine…If levels are too high, I agree…But both the gum and the patch caused increase heart rate with in me, as does smoking…Each month I’m lowing the nicotine levels in the e-juices I use in hopes to get to zero…Are you going to ban something that is working for me and many others…Ok, we’ll all go back to smoking cigarettes…How wonderful of you New York and all other do-gooders who have no proof, nor is there that this is a dangerous form of recreational use of nicotine, which ruling allows the sale of tobacco products…How about 0 nicotine e-juice?..Is Ny going to stop the use of vaporizers also…Will propylene glycol be banned as?..Trouble is America, the Chinese invented this…Must piss off too many Americans with their hands on their south end for not coming up with it first…Anybody who vaps, everybody who vaps, has to get together and stop these illegal, as far as I’m concerned, bans on the use of E-Cigarettes…Lets save our lives and freedom before these ill-willed Politicians and Lobbists take our health…

  28. I worked as a legal consultant for these kind of anti something groups and while some are genuine, most of them, after reaching a certain size, are more about maintaning status quo in order to justify their existence. What would happen to an organization like ASH if people moved massively from cigarettes do E cigarettes or Snus? Their influence would rock bottom. So would their revenues.
    Some of my friends quitted smoking using snus and e cigarettes. I do not need a decade long study to see that their lifes improved. Some of them phased out nicotine use.
    Anyway, hipocrasy is the correct word for these bans.

  29. I wonder what the ASH would do if they successful banned anything tobacco / nicotine related.
    What will they go after next, smoke from open fires, or caffeine?
    Rui is right, they’re just justifying their existence at this point.

  30. The can’t justify their actions if electronic nicotine devices are deemed illegal.
    How are e-cigs positive?
    1. Can help tobacco smokers avoid 1000‘s of dangerous and legal chemicals.
    2. Can help tobacco smokers cut down and quit in some cases.

    There are many ways to deliver nicotine that are legal today other then tobacco.
    Chewing gum, patches and pills.

    The REAL reason that people may support a law to make such a simple device illegal is simple… no more profit for the major tobacco tycoons.
    The tobacco industry leaders are shoving millions at anyone who can change the minds of the general public about the benefits of the e-cig.
    Think about it people and voice your opinion without being falsely led along the tobacco industry’s path.

  31. this product stopped me from smoking REAL cigarettes! i feel better and do not wheeze anymore. perhaps the state of ny has forgotten the hundreds of cancer causing chemicals are in the real ones. so, how come they are not taken off the market? it’s the lobbyists from large companies pushing to get this lsaw passed….

  32. I make a terrific living selling marijuana. I have recently warehoused thousands of ecigs and the e liquids. Upon banning I will commence selling at 2000 percent markup. God bless the united states government. Please outlaw something else the public wants, I and others like me will be there, getting rich.

  33. Ecig saved me!!!! I have been smoking for over 20. years. I haven’t touched a cigarette for over 9 months. I feel better and younger. Why. Would you take away something that could save peoples lives!!!

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