E-cigarette users in New York may soon face vaping bans in workplaces and restaurants as their local governments, as well as the state of New York, both consider extending smoking bans to electronic cigarettes, according to lohud.com.
For example, Westchester County, N.Y. lawmakers are considering a package of laws that would ban vaping in specific public places and change the minimum age to buy tobacco and other nicotine products from 18 to 21.
Meanwhile in Putnam County, N.Y., Health Commissioner Allen Beals is set to discuss the possible drafting of similar laws with the Putnam Legislature’s health committee on March 19, according to spokeswoman Barbara Ilardi. The Rockland, N.Y. County Department of Health is also drafting a local law to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. It is not however considering a local ban on indoor e-cigarette use at this time, lohud.com reported.
But even if those proposed bans and age restrictions are voted down in each county, e-cigarette could still face restrictions on a state level.
The New York State Legislature is considering proposals that would enact a statewide indoor e-cigarette ban and age increase to purchase e-cigs that would overrule counties’ decisions. The state is also considering regulations for e-cigarette sellers and the possibility of taxing e-cigarettes as aggressively as tobacco products. Currently, the state’s $4.35 tax on a pack of cigarettes is the highest in the country, lohud.com reported.
In New York City, electronic cigarettes have been banned in places where smoking is prohibited since April 29, 2014, including in bars, restaurants, offices and parks. Since May 18, 2014, retailers in New York City have not been allowed to sell tobacco products or electronic cigarettes to anyone under 21.