Vaping has been added to New York’s Clean Indoor Air Act, prohibiting their public use throughout the state
The state of New York decided on Monday to expand restrictions on indoor vaping. Around 70% of local governments across the state already have some form of limit on where people can vape. This move by state legislators groups e-cigarettes under the umbrella of the Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits the use of tobacco products in most indoor public spaces in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the latest expansion of the 2003 tobacco control legislation which was one of the first to ban smoking in public places.
Governor Cuomo was quick to jump on the potential risks of e-cigarettes, dismissing their harm reduction, and supporting the idea that they’re mostly the same risk as combustible cigarettes. Jeff Seyler of the American Lung Association applauded the decision to ban e-cigarettes, saying vaping is little more than a ploy to lure kids into using nicotine. This type of plea for the safety of children is little more than a sham that only serves to hide the truth that vaping saves lives.
An All Too Common Trend
Similar bans already exist in most of the state, so many vapers have seen the writing on the wall for a while. In January, a petition was submitted to the NYC courts looking to remove e-cigarettes from the jurisdiction of the NYC tobacco restrictions. It was not to be, as the court found that the association of vaping and smoking was “valid”. The vaping community at large couldn’t disagree more. Many vapers vouch for it as a significant part of their success in quitting smoking, and most shop owners genuinely believe they are offering a way to improve the health and well-being of smokers across the country.
It’s becoming more popular among local governments to institute vaping bans. Bans like these have already taken effect across America. Politically speaking, it’s easy to force through this type of restriction, because the majority of the public is misinformed and therefore thinks vaping is akin to smoking. But users and scientists both agree that the harm reduction value of vaping is actually quite significant. Many smokers have reported successfully quitting smoking for the first time due to the help of vaping. So the real issue is the false association of vaping and smoking that helps bans and taxes so easily pass into law.
What Researchers Say
The fact is that vaping does have potential risks. What’s more, is that it’s such a new product, of course, the scientific standard of “definitive research” hasn’t yet been approached. But that is far from saying vaping ought to be treated like smoking. Researchers are starting to agree that vaping is around 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. With that being the case, it’s well worth it to promote smoking cessation using vaping. The Journal of Aerosol Science published a study just last week that indicated a reduction in cancer risk by switching from vaping to smoking of around five orders of magnitude (that’s 50,000+ times safer). Numbers like this make it clear, vaping should be promoted as an alternative to smoking.
In addition to being much less dangerous, e-cigarettes have been shown to increase significantly the chance a smoker quits for good. A study by Action on Smoking and Health found that over half of everyday vapers stopped smoking. The British Psychological Society believes that one reason for its success may be the presence of psychological cues that make vaping feel like smoking. It would help to explain why they appear to be much more likely to work than nicotine patches or gum.
But in spite of all this data, many public health officials have continued to insist that vaping has risks that preclude it from being a viable smoking cessation tool. This foolish stance is only leading more and more people to believe that vaping has the same level of risk as smoking. With that in mind, who could blame the millions of smokers who have never given vaping a chance. Everything they see and hear in the general public points to vaping being not worth it. This is the real tragedy of this type of ban.
Will New York’s ban make a big difference? Should it be on lawmakers to make a distinction between smoking and vaping? Is there anything you use to think about vaping that you later found out was untrue? Let us know in the comments.