E-Cigarettes Are Officially Banned Wherever Smoking Is Illegal In New York City

e-cigarette ban now in effect in NYC
Tough day for Stephen Dorff.

Sorry all you e-cig lovers, but vaping is about to get a lot harder for you; New York City has officially banned e-cigarettes in every place where regular cigarettes are already prohibited. Which, that’s practically everywhere now, right? Right.

Via Gothamist, “at 12:01 this morning it became illegal to use e-cigarettes in New York City anywhere traditional cigarettes are banned.” City lawmakers feel that the FDA has not paid sufficient attention to the dangers inherent in e-cigs and feel that this “lack of oversight is placing individuals at risk because there is little known about the chemical make-up of the liquid nicotine or the harm to individuals from inhaling the water vapor directly or through secondhand exposure.”

And while e-cigarette and smokers’ rights groups have a countersuit against the city and engage in classic scofflaw behavior (as they did when they “lit” up at Manhattan’s Museum of Sex last night), it seems like the legislative tide is shifting toward banning e-cigs statewide. Gothamist also reports that state lawmakers are using the city’s new prohibition as a template for one which will affect all of New York, not just the city, and notes “a state law amending the Smoke Free Air Act to include e-cigarettes would presumably be much harder to challenge.”

So while this probably isn’t the end of vaping, it may be the end of smokers relying on e-cigs to quit regular cigarettes, since it won’t be any easier for them to switch over to the smokeless kind, which is a shame because that seemed like the one uncontrovertibly good thing about those e-cigarettes. And with this e-cig ban and the news that the mayor wants to continue Bloomberg’s fight against the soft drink industry, it seems like we’re still firmly in an era of government as nanny. Welcome to de Blasio’s New York. It isn’t looking too different from Bloomberg’s so far.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen