Ex-smokers in New York state can no longer legally vape in workplaces, bars, or restaurants.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday night that adds e-cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act. According to the Albany Times Union, the law takes effect in 30 days.
In addition to banning vapes in the workplace and other public gathering places, the law prohibits vaping on public transport, in college buildings, and in any outdoor location where smoking is not allowed.
“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,” the governor said in a prepared statement. “This measure closes another dangerous loophole in the law, creating a stronger, healthier New York for all.”
The governor urged the ban as part of his proposed budget this year. At the same time, he proposed an e-liquid tax that would have crippled vape shops. The tax didn’t make it through the legislative process. Earlier this year, Cuomo signed another bill that banned vaping on school grounds. It’s now illegal in New York to vape within 100 feet of entrances, exits, or outdoor areas of schools.
State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill in September that would ban all e-liquid sales in the state.
“That kind of product is meant to appeal to kids,” Rosenthal said, according to the New York Daily News. “I don’t know many adults who would like to inhale bubble gum or strawberry vapor.”
Rosenthal has introduced multiple bills to ban or restrict vapor products. The Manhattan Democrat now promises to work together with Sen. Brad Hoylman, who introduced a similar bill in the last senate session. That bill didn’t get out of committee.
“This is yet another attempt by Assemblywoman Rosenthal to shut down and leave unemployed the owners and employees of hundreds of vapor product retail small businesses throughout New York,” American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley told the paper.
American Cancer Society lobbyist Julie Hart told the Daily News that sweet e-liquid flavors are driving uptake by teenagers. “Chocolate, gummy bear, cotton candy, cookies and cream — these are all things that are enticing to kids,” she said.