New York City Council considers e-cigarette ban - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

New York City Council considers e-cigarette ban

Posted: Updated:

NEW YORK (AP) — New Yorkers who say electronic cigarettes helped them quit smoking asked city lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday not to ban the nicotine inhalers from restaurants, workplaces and other indoor spaces, saying there isn't enough evidence they pose a health risk to justify their exclusion.

"They have been instrumental, for me, to remain smoke free," said Andrew Martin, an 18-year-old who said he took up smoking cigarettes at age 16. He also groused that he didn't believe public health experts who warned that the inhalers, which often look just like real cigarettes, might be dangerous. "These people would try to get you to prohibit penicillin ... if there was grant money in it."

Public health officials have asked the City Council to enact legislation that would add e-cigs to the 12-year-old law that drove smokers out of the city's taverns, nightclubs and office buildings, and forced them to satisfy their nicotine habits on the frigid (or broiling) sidewalks.

Today, the sight of someone puffing away indoors is somewhat shocking in New York, but it is becoming more common again as electronic cigarettes become more popular. Proponents of a ban told the council's health committee that e-cigs are threatening to undermine one of the key benefits of the original smoking ban, which was to make it socially unacceptable to smoke indoors.

"Waiting to act could jeopardize the progress we've made in the last 12 years," said the city's health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley. He also said that electronic cigarettes make enforcement of the rules against tobacco smoking more difficult, since the two products look so much alike.

Farley added that too little was known about electronic cigarettes to say whether they are safe to use, or whether they actually help people quit smoking for good.

The hearing featured entrepreneurs who have invested in e-cigarette companies, advocacy groups that argued both for and against the proposed ban, and so called "vapers," or people who have traded lungfuls of tobacco smoke for the less odorous puffs of vaporized liquid nicotine given off by the battery-powered electronic cigarettes.

Some puffed on the devices as they testified, and talked about how much healthier they have felt since giving up tobacco.

Health advocates have raised concerns that the inhalers, which have soared in popularity, can get people hooked on nicotine just like cigarettes, and might be taken up by people who have never smoked before, rather than only people trying to quit.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Blaze engulfs commercial building in NJ

    Blaze engulfs commercial building in NJ

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:29:00 GMT
    A two-alarm fire broke out in a commercial building in New Jersey on Tuesday. The fire erupted on Bergen Boulevard and 12th Street in Palisades Park. SkyFoxHD was over the scene as heavy smoke poured out from the building. It is not clear what sparked the fire. No injuries were reported.
    A two-alarm fire broke out in a commercial building in New Jersey on Tuesday. The fire erupted on Bergen Boulevard and 12th Street in Palisades Park. SkyFoxHD was over the scene as heavy smoke poured out from the building. It is not clear what sparked the fire. No injuries were reported.

  • Is NYC the most unhappy city in America?

    Is NYC the most unhappy city in America?

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:29:16 GMT
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
  • Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:19:03 GMT
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
    The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.  In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.  The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices