If Governor Cuomo signs a new bill into law, New York will join Alaska, Idaho, Kansas and Maryland in restricting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, pushed the bill that passed in her house. She said in an AP article that she was "baffled" by a last minute dispute with the Republican-controlled Senate.
Today, the last day of the legislative session, the Senate passed the bill 60-0.
The passage of S2926B will likely stop the advancement of another e-cigarette bill, S07635, which was introduced just two weeks ago by Republican New York State Senator Kemp Hannon. CASAA had issued a member Call to Action against S07635, which would have banned all sales and advertisement for sale of electronic cigarettes in New York. Such a ban would have left hundreds of thousands of adult e-cigarette users and smokers without means to purchase the devices from businesses located in the state.
It is unknown why Senator Hannon would suddenly push for a complete ban on a product that most tobacco harm reduction experts agree are a much safer alternative for adult smokers. It is estimated that there are nearly 3 million electronic cigarette users in the U.S., thousands of whom reported in surveys that they have experienced improved health and no significant negative health effects since replacing their traditional cigarettes with the smoke-free devices.
"Instead of benefiting the public health, [banning e-cigarette sales to adult consumers] would force
e-cigarette users to return to smoking cigarettes or to travel across state
lines to buy e-cigarettes from a newly created illicit market," stated a letter from CASAA, regarding S07635, to the Senate Rules Committee.
However, CASAA enthusiastically supported the passage of S02926B and A 9044-B that would ban the sale to minors.
"Although there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are particularly attractive to minors or that e-cigarette suppliers are marketing to minors," stated a CASAA spokesperson, "of course we support efforts to keep potentially addicting tobacco and nicotine products away from children."