New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as one of his final act before leaving office, has signed the law banning the use of electronic cigarettes indoors in that city.
NYC’s “Smoke Free Air Act” now applies to e-cigarettes as well as tobacco cigarettes, which means their use is banned in restaurants and bars, offices and city-owned parks and land.
The signing didn’t come without a bit of theater; immediately after the mayor inked the law, two pro-smoking activists lit cigarettes inside City Hall to protest. One was Audrey Silk, the founder of the group “Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment,” known as CLASH. Both smokers had their cigarettes seized by security, and were ushered outdoors.
Many municipalities and states have passed ordinances or laws regulating the use of e-cigs. New York City, as the city with perhaps the most stringent anti-smoking laws in the United States, now has one of the strictest anti-vaping ordinances in the nation.
Not all anti-smoking groups are in favor of the city’s approach; Thomas Glynn of the American Cancer Society, says it’s misguided to “take something out of the hands of people which could, in fact, help (them) stop using the traditional…cigarette.”
The push to apply anti-smoking regulations to e-cigs seems to be gaining traction at the local level in the United States. The most recent examples are in California, where the city of Richmond (near San Francisco) and the city of Carlsbad (near San Diego) have moved forward on proposals regulating the use of electronic cigarettes. Richmond’s City Council has unanimously okayed an ordinance banning the use of ecigs in all “enclosed” public spaces – even open-air parks. Meanwhile, the Carlsbad City Council has given initial approval to a proposal that bans vaping anywhere where smoking is prohibited, including outdoor seating areas at restaurants.
Those actions come as the California county of San Bernadino has banned electronic cigarettes from all county facilities, following the example of nearby Riverside County which last year approved a similar law.
Across the country, meanwhile, a committee of the New York City Council held its first hearing on a proposal which would ban all e-cigarette use in public places.
Most proponents of the restrictions cite a recent Centers for Disease Control study which showed the use of ecigarettes up sharply among middle school and high school students. However, electronic cigarette supporters charge that the CDC sensationalized their news releases on the study, and didn’t highlight the fact that nearly 75% of the students using e-cigs had previously been regular tobacco smokers.
Electronic cigarette manufacturers are heartened by a decision by the European Parliament, which will not classify e-cigarettes as medical devices. If the decision had gone the other way as EU medical officials had wanted, it could have vastly reduced the sale and availability of the products throughout the Euro Zone. In some countries, it could have restricted sales to the point where ecigs could only be sold in pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription. E-cigarette companies had lobbied hard against the proposal, and are calling it a victory for public health and the people who are switching from cigarettes to e-cigs.
It wasn’t all good news for e-cigarette companies, though; the Parliament did vote to impose much tighter restrictions on the advertising and sale of e-cigs. Those limits are basically the same ones that apply to tobacco cigarettes, including bans on most forms of advertising, and bans on sales to those under the age of 18.
The EU decision must still be approved by two other European government branches, and then the individual member countries will have several years to bring their own laws into compliance.
The European action comes as electronic cigarette companies await a promised decision from the U.S Food and Drug Administration later in October, on how it plans to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes. In 2010 a U.S Appeals Court gave the FDA the ability to regulate e-cigs under the umbrella of tobacco products.
In a group of three measures submitted to New York’s City Council by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, mainly aimed at further restricting the sale of analog cigarettes, electronic cigarettes would be classified by the city as “tobacco products’ – even though, of course, they contain no tobacco. If passed, that would subject e-cig users to the same drastic regulations on where and when they could vape that face smokers using traditional cigarettes.
On the other side of the ledger, a vote that was planned for earlier this week to treat e cigarettes as tobacco products in the state of California was cancelled. That followed intense lobbying and discussions between lawmakers and the electronic cigarette industry. It now appears the bill, one of the strongest proposals to regulate vaping in the same way as smoking, is dead at least until next year.
Meanwhile, Illinois’ governor has signed into law a measure that bans the sale of e-cigarettes to those under the age of 18. IDs must be shown before ecigs can be purchased at retail stores, by anyone who appears to be under the age of 27, before they can buy any “alternative nicotine products.”
Add another major tobacco company to the list of firms marketing their own electronic cigarette. British American Tobacco has unveiled their own e-cigarette, known as the Vype. Right now, the Vype is available online and will be sold in retail stores starting in September. Their only option to date is disposable e-cigs, but they say a rechargeable version of the Vype will be released in the near future.
BAT, which markets the tobacco brands Benson and Hedges, Lucky Strike and Dunhill, is seen as positioning itself for 2016, when a British governmental agency will start regulating ecigarettes as “non-prescription medicines.” That could open the door for Britain’s national health service to prescribe electronic cigarettes as a treatment option for smokers looking to quit the habit.
Many analog cigarette companies have made the move to offer their own branded ecigs, to take advantage of the burgeoning vaping market. BAT is the world’s number two tobacco company.
The story was first reported by the British newspaper The Independent.
The governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, has vetoed proposed legislation banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18. The reason for his decision was not related to the question of children having access to electronic cigarettes, however. Chafee says that the way the bill was written was flawed; he says it would have exempted ecigs, as “vapor products,” from all of the laws that regulate tobacco, including taxation and enforcement provisions which govern the sale of regular tobacco cigarettes. The legislation was based on a similar proposal in Wyoming banning the sale of ecigarettes to minors, claiming that a law is needed to prevent children from becoming addicted to nicotine.
V2 Cigs usually saves their best deals for holidays, and this week is no exception. On July 4th and 5th, they’re offering a full 25% off all merchandise in their online store – all kits, all cartridges, all accessories – all 25% off on Thursday and Friday. Even their new products, like their 24mg extra strength cartridges, are on sale; there’s no better time this summer than now to check out their top-rated merchandise.
Just click any of the V2 links on our site, including the one to your right under the “Current Specials” heading, to get started – no coupon code is necessary.
Green Smoke has started their big 4th of July sale. From July 1-4, you can get 20% off all starter kits, and 15% off all batteries, cartridges and accessories, just by using the special holiday coupon code “JULY2013″ when you check out.
Click any of the Green Smoke links on our site to get started, and be sure to use the special code to get the holiday savings.
V2 Cigs has announced that it now is offering many of its top flavors in extra-strength, 24mg cartridges and e-liquid. For that extra throat hit, the strong flavors available are Red, Sahara, Congress, Menthol, Peppermint and Mint Tea. They’ve also redesigned their blank cartridges for those who use eliquid, with increased efficiency and a better screw-on cap – users will also be interested that they’ve added Coffee and Vanilla to their e-liquid lineup. Finally, V2 has a new line of disposables, lighter and more powerful, available in Red and Menthol.
Green Smoke has added a new flavor to their lineup: Mountain Clove. They’re one of the first to make this popular, sweet taste available in an electronic cigarette. They’ve also launched a cartridge recycling program. The “green” program works like this: you simply save up 80 used cartridges, call customer service to arrange free shipping, and you then receive 25 loyalty points in your account, which is equal to a pack of new cartridges. It’s a first in the industry.
And White Cloud has released a new disposable, called the Fling Mini. They share the same strong technology as their full-sized relatives, but come in an ecig that’s as small and light as a regular tobacco cigarette, for just $5.95.