Smokers, barred from lighting up in public places under Mayor Bloomberg, may be celebrating his exit from City Hall.
“We love to be rid of him. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” said activist Audrey Silk, founder of NYC Citizens Against Smoker Harassment.
Hizzoner, who rammed through the Smoke Free Air Act, which bans smoking in public places, in 2003, will sign a measure into law on Monday, his next to last full day in office, that will ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places such as bars and restaurants. In effect, it expands the Smoke Free Air Act to treat vapor from e-cigs (right) like tobacco smoke.
Silk and other e-cig proponents plan to light up at the bill signing.
Unlike tobacco smoking, the public prohibition of e-cigs has drawn some opposition in the medical community because there’s evidence that “vaping” nicotine e-cigs has helped wean people off of regular cigarettes.
“With the addition of e-cigs to the Smoke Free Act, we have the most concrete proof that it’s never been about the smoke. It’s about hating someone else’s choice and the imposition of Dear Leader’s religion on everyone else,” said Silk, who will testify against the bill at City Hall.
But city Health Commissioner Tom Farley said allowing electronic cigs in public places would make smoking socially acceptable again among youths and undermine gains in curbing tobacco use.
He said they look like regular cigarettes, mimic the action of smoking, and are popular with youths.
“Most of these devices contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance,” Farley said.
By: Carl Campanile
December 30, 2013
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