The amendment to the Smoke-Free Air Act to include e-cigarettes went into effect yesterday. New Yorkers are now able to breathe clean, smoke- and vapor-free air in public places and workplaces. This is another milestone in tobacco control and a huge win for New Yorkers, especially our kids.
Increasingly, local and state governments across the country are adding e-cigarettes to their smoke-free laws. Prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free places prevents the normalization of smoking of any kind for our young people. It also helps with enforcement (bartenders, for example, won’t have to try to figure out if they’re seeing smoke or vapor because now both are now prohibited). And, with no consensus on the safety of the vapor, this limits exposure.
Smoke-free laws not only protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air, but they also create an environment that encourages smokers to quit and in which kids are less likely to start smoking. We need to do everything we can protect the next generation from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.