Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Call to Action! New York City Ordinances Would BAN Flavored E-Cigarettes And More -- Int 1020 & Int 1021 (ENDED)


Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law two tobacco ordinances.  CASAA is pleased to announce that the City Council did not move forward with provisions of the original ordinances that would have: enacted a de facto ban on e-cigarette flavors; defined e-cigarettes as "tobacco products"; required a tobacco license to sell e-cigarettes; banned price discounts and coupons for e-cigarettes;  require a tobacco license to sell e-cigarettes; and banned the display of all smoke-free alternatives. 

In the end, the only portion of the two Bloomberg bills that impacted e-cigarettes was that the age of purchase was moved from 18 to 21.  

CASAA would like to thank all the vapers who attended May's hearing, as well as the hundreds or thousands who sent e-mails or made phone calls to the members of the Health Committee. 

New York City: Ordinances to BAN Flavored E-Cigarettes, Define E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products, Require Tobacco Licensing, and BAN the Public Display of E-Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco (Int 1020-2013 & Int 1021-2013)

[legislative tracking for 1020-2013]
[legislative tracking for 1021-2013
[full text of all ordinances]

If enacted, these ordinances would:
  •  Redefine "tobacco products" under New York City law to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts, and accessories (both ordinances)
  • Ban the display of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in retail stores (Int 1020-2013)
  • BAN the sale of e-cigarettes or e-liquid in flavors other than tobacco, menthol, mint and wintergreen in areas other than an age-restricted "tobacco bar." New York City law prohibits "tobacco bars" that were not open in 2001, and thus even an e-cigarette store in New York City would be prohibited from selling flavored e-cigarettes! (Int 1021-2013)
  • Ban coupons for e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco 
New York City Residents:  We recommend that in addition to contacting the members of the Health Committee that you also contact your own representative in the New York City Council.  Click here to find out who represents you. 

NYC and Nearby Residents: Please Contact the Members of the New York City Health Committee Below

1. Please reject Int 1020-2013 and Int 1021-2013 because it would redefine "tobacco products" under New York City law to include smoke-free electronic cigarettes. 

2. Explain that if the New York City Council wishes to regulate e-cigarettes, it should be done through a standalone ordinance.  As is, there has been zero media coverage of the fact that these ordinances would ban sales of certain electronic cigarettes.  This is an end runaround the legislative process.

3. If you use e-liquid that has a pleasant flavor added (such as fruit, candy, beverage), tell the members of the Health Committee that this has helped you quit smoking and describe how.  Further explain that a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health could not find a single nonsmoking youth who had tried an electronic cigarette, let alone a flavored electronic cigarette. 

4. Explain that the electronic cigarettes are far less harmful than cigarettes, and that many former adult smokers have quit smoking by switching to less harmful alternatives, including products that contain flavors.  These ordinances would harm public health by discouraging smokers from switching.

5. Note that e-cigarettes are NOT traditional tobacco products, and that the licensing laws of New York City are not appropriate for the sale of a product like e-cigarettes.

6. Direct them to the CASAA.org website for more information. 

Members of the New York City Health Committee

Comma delimited email list: 
mathieu.eugene@council.nyc.gov, albert.vann@council.nyc.gov, jotero@council.nyc.gov, helen.foster@council.nyc.gov, joel.rivera@council.nyc.gov, rosie.mendez@council.nyc.gov, jferreras@council.nyc.gov, peter.vallonejr@council.nyc.gov, jvanbramer@council.nyc.gov, drose@council.nyc.gov

Hon. Mathieu Eugene (District 40) (D - Brooklyn)

Hon. Albert Vann (District 36) (D - Brooklyn)

Hon. Maria Del Carmen Arroyo (District 17) (D - Bronx)

Hon. Helen D. Foster (District 16) (D - Bronx)

Hon. Joel Rivera (District 15) (D - Bronx)

Hon. Inez E. Dickins (District 9) (D - Manhattan)
[no e-mail address available -- please call]  

Hon. Rosie Mendez (District 2) (D - Manhattan)

Hon. Julissa Ferreras (District 21) (D - Queens)

Hon. Peter F. Vallone, Jr. (District 22) (D - Queens)

Hon. James G. Van Bramer (District 26) (D - Queens)

Hon. Deborah L. Rose (District 49) (D - Staten Island)


LATEST UPDATE (10/23/2013): CASAA has received word that the New York City Health Committee could vote on these ordinances in the very near future, with a possible target date of Wednesday, October 30th.  It is imperative that vapers in and around NYC drive phone calls and e-mails to the offices of the New York City Council members in opposition to not just the flavor ban, but also other nonsensical approaches like banning the display of e-cigarettes in retail outlets.

UPDATE (9/25/2013): These ordinances have yet to be scheduled for a vote.  Vapers should continue to contact the City Council members to express their opposition to these ordinances as proposed by the Bloomberg Administration.

UPDATE (8/10/2013): CASAA would like to thank journalist Christopher Robbins for exposing this backdoor ban attempt on the Gothamist. From there, numerous outlets picked up the story, including Fox News, New York Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The Week / Yahoo, Convenience Store Decisions (with comments by CASAA's Gregory Conley), and others.  Dr. Michael Siegel also wrote about this ban attempt on his blog.

UPDATE (8/7/2013): CASAA and NYC vapers had previously been led to believe that the Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would be putting forward amendments to their proposed tobacco bills to ensure that e-cigarettes would not be treated the same as deadly tobacco cigarettes. 

CASAA has just learned that the Department of Health completely disregarded the concerns of vapers.  An updated ordinance was leaked to CASAA and no substantive changes have been made.  Indeed, the ordinance is actually worse than it was before, as the sponsors added language that absurdly claims that e-cigarettes are designed to DETER smokers from quitting. 

This move comes after a May 2, 2013 meeting of the NYC Committee on Health, during which a representative from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stated that the Department had no intention of trying to regulate e-cigarettes.  

The next meeting of the NYC Council Committee on Health is not currently scheduled. We will update as we learn more.  

Immediate action is needed to stop these ordinances from becoming law and harming public health. Please see below on how to help.  

Testimony from vapers, including CASAA Legislative Director Gregory Conley, before the Health Committee of the New York City Council


Hayden Naetzker said...

Does the rest of the state of New York get to have a say in this?

Jennifer Wager said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aakaash Bali said...

Do we know what the hearing was yet?

Daniel Lockwood said...

I am completely amazed that government elected officials would try to stop E-Cigs through regulation. This is a healthy alternative to smoking. And the only reason to enact such restrictions against e-cigs would be to ensure tobacco burning products remain the exclusive delivery products through carcinegen and carbon monoxide (IE burning lungs and cancer causing SMOKING) as oppposed to HEALTHY nicotine delivery products. Restricting e-cigs is insulting to all who are capable of understanding intelligent regulation, and shows that corporate profits are more important than public health.

Dale Van Droof said...


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Simply put, these products are saving peoples lives. Nicotine by itself, is no more dangerous than a can of caffeinated soda, it is the tobacco carcinogens that are killing people. This social stigma attached to Nicotine is ludicrous. If this world made any sense at all, you would be going after Tobacco, Beer, and Soda before Nicotine. These vaping products are for adults and I have not come across a single business targeting children. Even though I am an adult, I do enjoy the candied and fruit flavors, as well as the tobacco flavors. I have been a smoker for 10 years and have not had a cigarette since I got my vaping unit. I am 28 years of age, and hope that the people taking action against this movement will do the research before making irrational decisions which will greatly impact current smokers trying to better their lives.

pageanmoon said...

My email
"I am writing to express my disappointment with the members of the NYC Health Dept.
When I watched the live stream hearing on May 2nd, 2013 I was at first impressed with the willingness of the Committee to listen the public.
I was hopeful when the Committee ensured the people who came forward to testify that they had no intention of regulating electronic cigarettes. My hope was short lived as I now have found out that the Committee misled the people of NYC and those from other states who watched this hearing.
While I agree that minors should not be able to buy tobacco, this ordinance would take away the choice of adults who use electronic cigarettes with flavored nicotine liquids to purchase these items in the city they live in.
This ordinance may in fact send some of these people back to smoking, which is counter productive to public health.
The belief that these products are marketed to children is misguided at best. These products are marketed to adult smokers who either can not or will not stop smoking.
A recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health could not find a single nonsmoking youth who had tried an electronic cigarette, let alone a flavored electronic cigarette.

If the New York City Council wishes to regulate e-cigarettes, it should be done through a standalone ordinance.
Please reconsider the inclusion of electronic cigarettes in this ordinance.

Jim said...

Big Government receives "kick backs" from BIG TOBACCO........of course they wanna stamp out e-cigs or have them recognized as "Tobacco products". If they don't........no more "kick-backs"

Laurie Carlson said...

This is all so new but sometimes I think they WANT people to DIE of smoking related causes because what they are doing with this IS ensuring that WILL happen. Such a sad, sorry group of heighty-teighty's!
Kids under 18 CANNOT get their hands on these devices, and if they really took a look at HOW kids start smoking, it's by stealing a few cigarettes out of Mom and Dad's packs of cigarettes! That's how I did it! Then I got so bold as to steal an entire PACK out of their carton! With electronic cigarettes, it ensures that much MORE that kids UNDER 18 CANNOT start to smoke!
These people on these boards don't seem to think about those types of things, though, now do they? NONE of them EVER did anything like that, did they?
I hope this does NOT happen. I wish I could do something, but I don't live in New York. I did put it all over Facebook, though, hoping to get people's attention.
Thanks, CASAA! And thanks for the NEW STUDY! Its GREAT! Maybe that CAN be used in this fight.
We CANNOT ALLOW THEM TO WIN THIS BATTLE THEY STARTED! We are hurting NO ONE! Not even ourselves! Again, sometimes I think that's what they DON'T want to have happen!

Misty Vaper said...

This is just ridiculous!!!! The government can't control it so they don't want it! They want us to smoke get cancer and other smoking related illnesses too So we can be treated with chemotherapy and radiation. I don't live in New York but I can't sit quite because Vaping isn't harmful no second hand smoke or first hand for that matter! Please reconsider what your doing. Were not hurting you but you want to kill us!!!!!

Tom Black said...

The government wants you to smoke until you die. The reasoning for this is because if you die young then they don't have to pay you your benefits you worked your whole life to get. They want you to buy cigs, pay outrageous taxes to them. Try to quit using their patches and gums and spend a small fortune doing it knowing all along that they don't work and then you are back to cigs. Finally you get sick and then you spend all the money you saved up your entire life trying to stay alive in their hospitals and then right about the time your benefits are about to kick in you die.

So you work your entire life. Give the government all of the money you made and die.
Nice "Free Country" we live in huh?

linda thach said...

What we "all the vapors" should do is open a paypal account for all the vapors to donate to, Take that money and use it to buy off/pay off a government official of our own the way big tobacco is doing it. Stick it to them the same way. I know that is just a pipe dream but wouldn't that be nice if we could pull it off??????????????????????????????

Sid DaBunneh said...

I'll bet this is about taxes. The city tried to limit the size of drinks so they could charge more tax on them. E-Cigs can't be taxed so they want to make them cigarettes in the hope that they can find a way to tax them in the near future. Mayor Mikey is a lame duck. He should do the classy thing and quietly go off into the sunset.

I don't vape but as an ex-smoker and asthma sufferer, I know that I've never been affected when someone smoked an e-cig around me.

Christopher Currie said...

This is about the potential future loss of tax revenue. It's not "greedy" tobacco companies rent seeking, it's about the $8 in tax revenue NYC gets per pack. Some tobacco companies are working on their own e cigs and have been lobbying to keep them unregulated. This is the work of greedy democrat politicians. Nothing more.

Vicki Abraham said...

It's all about government control. Anything that isn't a danger will become a danger. Heaven forbid if we could have a mind of our own and make our own decisions without them. I believe it's called brain washing. After it's all said and done the egics will be more dangerous to our health than cigarettes so they can tax the shit out of it to get their share.

shelfish said...

This is my e-mail,

Dear Members of the New York City Health Committee,

I am a former cigarette smoker converted to the new e-cigarette a few months ago. I have stopped wheezing at night when laying down for bed. This tells me that all the additives the tobacco companies put into their cigarettes is what was causing this annoying wheezing. I have no desire to go back to smoking and filling my lungs with all the chemicals that go into the tobacco that makes up a cigarette. I would think with the new mandatory health insurance act that the government is imposing on the American people, any and all Health Committees would be looking for any and all ways to improve the health of the American people. A ban on e-cigarettes without due health studies would only lead the American smokers no choice to believe that tax revenue gained from the sale of tobacco produces is what concerns the States and the Federal Government.

Thank You for Reconsideration on This Issue

Rosanna Lee said...

I agree so agree pin point

Vapers Win said...

Its all about the money. They want to make sure none of the slaves make any. Hope anyone that reads this can see and understand that trend. IRS is the enforcer and they love going after small lucrative business'. Now that we are in the radar, good luck to us all. Its only a matter of time since the folks against it do not have to play by the same set of rules. Can we re elect Obama? PLEASE....

tek said...


Unknown said...

Nice letter, it is hard for me to not come off all pissed off on this topic - you were very composed

David Plunkett said...

Someone needs to start an online petition to gather signatures via email. People will be too lazy to write emails.

Veronica said...

I am not from New York, but am behind you 100%. All gov't, in every country, is trying to stop ecigs. The tobacco industry has such a tight hold on gov't, because of the money involved. I don't think, in the beginning, they thought the ecig would catch on, like it has. They didn't give the public credit, for using common sense, big mistake, on their part.Now big tobacco and pharmaceutical industry, are trying to control the switch to ecigs. Keep the faith people, and vape on. When there is a will, there is a way!

Claude Nadon said...

I do not live in NYC but still, I have sent a email to the Health Committee. Please do as well.

Bottomofthemap said...

Flavors entice children to buy products? Well how about stopping companies like Seagram, Belvedere and Hennessy from creating flavored alcohol? The last time I checked you need to be an adult to buy cigarettes and alcohol.

If your children are so easily influenced don't blame anyone but yourself for a severe lack in parental skills. Yes, kids will be kids, but we are adults who will live longer because we quit smoking tobacco. Now ask yourself, what is your REAL fear? Clearly we aren't harming anyone.

rolando jr. jeremillo said...


Docjun here from atmosph. we're for you guys out there...we here in the philippines on the other hand are waiting for the fda's decision on where to classify the e cig product as a whole.keeping our fingers crossed for everybody....

FireMan said...

Members of the New York City Health Committee,

In my circles (computer related) I'd be considered a "Noob" in the e-cigarette (e-Cig) world. I discovered them through a smoking friend who had just suffered his fourth or fifth (sorry, I can't remember exactly) cardiac related surgery. His physician attributed his medical history at least partially to tobacco consumption. His doctor's recommendation ... quit, find an alternative, or die. My friend is extreme in his pursuit of fact on any subject and I have no doubt he thoroughly researched this before recommending it to me.

I have been a tobacco smoker intermittently since my teen years; I'm currently sixty-three and a four time "quitter". Any smoker will know why they are so easily re-acquired. I have been lucky enough (so far) to not suffer any known long-term ill effects. And yes I do consider myself a quitter at this point.

My three previous "quitting" experiences were cold turkey and an exercise of sheer will power. This time was so easy it just doesn't compare. I received my first "e-Cigs" on July sixth. I smoked five regular cigarettes (the guy with the denim jacket) between then and the eleventh of July. Since that date I have been tobacco free. I have had an open pack on my dresser every day in plain sight and have not touched them.

As a computer geek and an avid internet user I also researched this topic in great detail since my introduction. To date there is NO scientific, medical or other information that I can find which validates or invalidates the health effects of e-Cigarettes. The predominate opinion at present sees the effect as medically (physicians have weighed in here) benign and habitually beneficial. The ingredients of the liquids used in e-Cigs from responsible producers are all pharmaceutical grade food products found in the foods we all eat every day. You might as well ban gelatin desserts and salad dressing.

There are some some facts we can state about e-Cigs:

1. There is nothing medical, scientific or otherwise so far to show them detrimental to health.

2. Public opinion (internet forums, committee testimony, etc.) indicates the predominant users are previous smokers who have or are trying to quit a proven "killer" habit.

3. There is no indication that "flavored" e-Cigs are luring children. What basis do you have to substantiate this claim?

I, as a "previous" smoker, think it ridiculous that you would deprive victims of a government supported, tax-based, proven unhealthy product an alternative. I'm sorry but in my opinion your legislation is nothing more than a lobbyist instigated attempt to prolong an industry fifty years proven to enslave and kill people.

Jennifer A. said...

I sent my email even though I am not a NYC resident.

Gerrit Van der Merwe said...

First they ban the smoking of tobacco products and now they want to ban Vaping?! This is supposed to be a free world we live in but Vapers and Smokers are being oppressed and discriminated against. This is My Life A'Hole! If I want to Vape and Smoke in the confines where there is no Health Risk to anyone then let me be. What about all the Carbon Monoxide and other sticking Air I have to absorb into my body. This is so rediculous and the best is that these laws are spreading into other Countries like a Virus. Leave us alone. Let us Vape and let us Vape wherever we want!

Anthony Cirullo said...

Tony AKA honestvape here. I have lost 18lbs do to the fact that I can vape chocolate cake rather that eat it. I can breathe again and my children don't have to smell there stinky dad.That is just the tip of the Iceberg.I am from Ohio but I will do what I can to help. I do reviews on YouTube and will mention this in them. My channel is honestvape. Please check it out and susbscribe.

Qua Couron said...

+10000 because this is absolutely unacceptable to do to citizens of the US, regardless of how much money the tobacco companies are lining the pockets of these people! It is not based in reality and needs to STOP, now! This is utterly ridiculous, 100x more ridiculous than banning flavored cigarettes, when we ALL know that has NOTHING to do with kids wanting to smoke, nor can most kids even afford expensive flavored cigarettes anyways! Most kids start smoking because it's "cool". It has nothing to do with the kind of cigarette they are, as long as they're smoking, which is just about rebelling anyways! I started smoking at 13, and I didn't try a flavored cigarette until I was about 17. I started smoking lucky strikes. I smoked for 10 damn years, and in Feb, I stopped instantly when I started vaping, and I haven't looked back. I didn't care about them even a little anymore.

Jason Connolly said...

Please sign this petition. It takes 10 seconds... Thank you


Sandy Lloyd Jr said...

Well when big tobacco gives you hundreds of thousands of dollars to ban eCigs most government officials jump on it. We Americans have extremely shady and evil representatives. Which is really unfortunate. I just hope that one day soon we will elect someone that tells the truth and not be so easily persuaded by cash

How to write a resume said...

How to make ice creamYuuummmm....ya, here is the recipe foe delicious dessert. This is really very simple, even kid can try this..!!   Ingredients • Vanilla or any other Flavoured essence 1.5 tea spoon • Cornflou...

Rwoodin said...

That's Bloomberg's NYC for ya. He already banned sodas over 16 ounces. He's trying to keep 'stop and frisk' as standard police policy. No surprize that they would lie to everyone about not regulating ecigs and then turn around and try to sneak legislation regulating them through the back door. Sorry to have to say it but I'm glad I moved out of NY quite a while ago.

Jim Lovegrove said...

Here is another example of our government trying to enforce their socialist ideals. Communism is alive and well and here in the Land of the "free", it is just coming through the back door. New York already has laws telling you what you can eat, how much you can drink and now, they are going to tell us what we can vape and where we can vape. I don't know about the rest of you but I'm getting really tired of our "democratic" government, there is nothing democratic about it any more, it is just about how much money you have and who you can influence with your money. Our politicians are placed in office by using their money to influence you, not by the person who is best suited for the job and they will let you know how you should act, eat and soon vape.

Rosalina Gilbertson said...

This is NOT a tobacco product!

Robert Lee said...

Every pack of cigs you don't buy is lost tax revenue to the government and lost revenue to big tobacco . It's really that simple.

5df3034a-0e6e-11e3-bf78-000f20980440 said...

This will create a great black market.

Caspersol said...

There is a huge Nicotine-lobby!!! The companies who spend billions of dollars to have Nicotine approved as a consumable product - even non subscibed from an MD and free to buy in the supermarket - does ABSOLUTELY NOT want Nicotine sold in any other ways than in there chewing gums etc. Nicotine IS addictive and IS highly toxic... but in small doses Nicotine is completely Harmless!!! Those companies spend billions of dollars to document that fact. So now these companies will do anything to ban the e-cigarettes and the Nicotine liquids. They do NOT care one bit about the public health!!! The tobacco companies as well supports the ban of the e-cigs and nicotine vapor!!!

The nations public health adminstrations should conduct their own tests etc. of the nicotine and glycerin products of e-cigs and put up limits and certifications and control etc. This as an investment in the future public health. If people want to take a risk in consuming the variety of flavours, thats their own business as well as the response of the food and beverage authorities.

The problems is as well that the people in the public healt authorities and in the food and beverage authorities are the same people who worked with the people from the companies in order to approve nicotine as a consumable. They are friends and palls now and they push the politicians to ban the e-cigs and the nicotine liquids.

As well, all the private organizations who research in lung cancers and heart deceases all over the world and who rely on private funding, receives huge amounts of money from the companies of the nicotine gum etc. So these companies as well push these generally high respectable organizations to talk badly about e-cigs. and the nicotine liquids.

Christina Auck said...

While many of these comments hold weight with regard to the tax money being a huge factor, please keep in mind that one of the richest and most powerful lobbying entities in existence have an incredibly large stake in keeping e-cigs out of our hands - the PHARMACEUTICAL companies.

These lose billions on drugs like Chantrix, patches, gum, and - most importantly - cancer drugs. Big Pharm controls most of our public "servants". The only way to win is to convince your representative that our voices and votes will overpower the huge campaign contributions big pharm offers them.

In the end, they just want to stay in power. Money talks unless or until we talk more loudly. This means media, persistence,and numbers. It's a tough battle to take on big pharm, but I'm with anyone else willing to try!

Christine Porter said...

I used to be a smoker for 30 + years. I smoked my last cigarette on August 5th and started electronic cigarette vapor and can say without question that I have no desire to ever smoke another "tobacco cigarette". I used every excuse and method on the market ( chantix, nicorette, wellbutrin, nicotin patches, and hyponosis) only to return to smoking regularly. I started seeing my fellow workers who had successfully quit cigarettes by using just vapors so I thought I would give it one last try. I tried the electronic vapor and I have not had the desire nor temptation to buy or borrow a cigarette since that day. Like other people on this panel I agree that cigarette companies don't want us to have found this success, ie.....we don't buy tobacco products anymore. If I a smoker of all those wasted years could have had this tool I could have quit years ago. It worked for me and I thank God for that. I will agree that if the government isn't making money off of it than they try to sway the public to discourage them and come up with cock and bull that it is harmful. Show me the facts, they do not want to acknowledge any of the proof that vaping is not harmful to anyone. My blood pressure was off the charts and I was using inhalers on a regular basis. For the first time in 30 years I can breathe and not have to use an inhaler and my blood pressure was 120/84 ...............Doesn't get any better than that. My health is getting better by the day and electronic vaping is what I can attribute my success to. TOBACCO FREE AT LAST....

RALPH said...

I have recently started to use electronic cigarettes and I think they are great. I am also starting a website to bring awareness to the industry and how electronic cigarettes are safer then tobacco cigarettes. I put up a petition for anyone to sign that I will be forwarding to each state's congressman if anyone would like to sign. Sign petition

Ben Fourie said...

Simple... By banning ecig flavours, effectively you stop the ecig market. By blocking a healthier alternative many, many people will still die of cancer. Yes, it was their decision to start smoking, but now every smoker has a way out.
It is not about kick-backs from giant tobacco companies. It is a little term called sin tax. This is the true evil. Once it has been regulated, they can charge sin tax on everything e-cig. Be it hardware, or liquid. In south africa, some sin taxable items get's levied with up to 300% tax. Yummy prospect for any one, trying to fatten his/her wallet!

David Holmes said...

Mass murder for profit by cold hearted psychopaths. (Psychopathy (/saɪˈkɒpəθi/) (or sociopathy (/ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθi/)) is a personality disorder characterised partly by enduring anti-social behavior, a diminished capacity for empathy or remorse, and poor behavioral controls.)

Mark Ruslinzski said...

Did anyone sign the Petition ?

Sign Now and We Can Win

Christopher Young said...