Vaping advocates threw cash from the balcony at City Hall after the vote was taken. One person shouted, “Big tobacco thanks you!” as bills rained down on the politicians.
The city will now become the largest political entity in the United States to ban flavors. There are 8.6 million residents in New York City, versus 6.9 million in Massachusetts, which passed a ban last week. The largest city till now to pass a ban was San Francisco.
The bill that passed did not include a ban on menthol cigarettes. That section was stripped from the bill last week. Mayor Bill DiBlasio has already indicated he will sign the bill into law.
“With this vote, the City Council is moving to ban the fruity, minty, candy-like flavors of e-cigarettes which were clearly designed to appeal to young people in the first place,” said City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine, who sponsored the legislation.
Drug Policy Alliance founder and vaping advocate Ethan Nadelmann warned DiBlasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson this morning in a tweet that New York ban reminded him of the “rush to enact counterproductive drugwar laws in the 80’s,” and that they are “heading down a slippery slope to prohibition disaster.”
Black market cigarette sales in New York account half of the market. Now the city will deal with yet another illegal product, as vapers are forced to break the law to avoid smoking.