New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill on Monday that bans e-cigarettes and vaping systems in public indoor spaces.
The state Clean Indoor Air Act previously regulated smoking substances containing tobacco, like cigarettes, cigars and pipes, in public indoor places. The addition of new smoking methods, like e-cigarettes, vaping pens and e-hookahs, closes a loophole in the law that allowed individuals to smoke tobacco in public places where cigarettes are prohibited.
“These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but the reality is they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them,” Cuomo stated.
E-cigarettes are electronic devices used to mimic smoking tobacco. They contain a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, and are often marketed as less damaging substitutes to traditional tobacco smoking methods. Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by a vaporizer or e-cigarette.
According to the Office of the U.S Surgeon General, e-cigarettes pose health risks to both users and those around them.
“Even breathing e-cigarette aerosol that someone else has exhaled poses potential health risks,” the surgeon general’s website states. “The aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin and lead.”
The ban, which will forbid the use of these products in places like restaurants and bars, will go into effect in 30 days.
California and Utah also have laws banning public vaping of tobacco products.