Beginning Today: E-Cigarettes Banned in Public Places Across New York State

E-Cigarettes Added to New York's Clean Indoor Air Act

ALBANY, NY (November 22, 2017) - The New York State Department of Health is reminding all New Yorkers that beginning today the use of electronic cigarettes is banned indoors everywhere that smoking tobacco products are prohibited in New York.

"Although e-cigarette use is promoted as a healthier alternative to tobacco use by the vaping industry, research has shown that they may carry long-term health risks for users and those exposed to secondhand emissions," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking action to prevent exposure to secondhand e-cigarette emissions in public places for all New Yorkers."

This new law will reduce exposure to the potentially dangerous chemicals for e-cigarette users and those around them. Prior to electronic cigarettes being added to the Clean Indoor Air Act, only the smoking of substances containing tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes or pipes, were restricted in public places. While many counties have already banned the use of e-cigarettes in public places, including restaurants, bars and other work places, this bill makes the law consistent across New York State. This ban builds upon legislation signed in July by Governor Cuomo that immediately banned the use of e-cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State.

Electronic nicotine and vapor delivery systems, which include e-cigarettes, vaping pens, e-hookah and similar devices, typically contain nicotine. Some ingredients found in e-cigarettes are considered toxic and there is no regulation of what chemicals e-cigarettes contain or how much nicotine the user is inhaling. These factors could lead to long-term adverse health effects for e-cigarette users and bystanders.

According to Department of Health data, e-cigarette usage among high school students in New York State nearly doubled in the last two years from 10.5 percent in 2014 to 20.6 percent in 2016 and it now far exceeds the rate of cigarette smoking. New York's high school student smoking rate in 2016 was the lowest on record at 4.3 percent, down from 27.1 percent in 2000. However, like cigarettes, e-cigarettes are aggressively marketed to teenagers to make them as appealing as possible with flavors such as mint chocolate and melon candy, and the mistaken belief that they are not harmful to users. A report by the U.S. Surgeon General also found that the use of e-cigarettes among youths and young adults is strongly associated with the use of other tobacco products.

More information about e-cigarettes can be found here: Get the Facts - E-cigarettes are Dangerous to Youth and Adults.