New York City pushes to ban E-Cigarettes

Dr. Sapna Parikh reports
November 27, 2013 5:57:37 PM PST
New York City has some of the toughest laws against smoking in public and now it's taking it a step further as now the city council is pushing to ban e-cigarettes.

New legislation moves to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public spaces.

If it passes, it would make the battery operated e-cigs illegal to use in restaurants, bars, parks and beaches.

"I think they should they should ban in all restaurants public places like they do regular cigarettes," said Jose Torres.

But as a user of e-cigs Ryan Smith disagrees.

"I personally don't think it's fair from what I hear this is just water vapor," Smith said.

Known as vaping, the e-cigs contain nicotine and deliver vapor that can be inhaled.

The vapor is technically not second hand smoke and the makers of the devices maintain it contains no tar or carbon monoxide.

But unlike regular cigs e-cigs are not regulated so what exactly is in that vapor and whether it's safe is a huge topic of debate.

"Some data suggests that emission from ecigs include formaldehyde and benzene and other carcinogens," said Michael Seilback, VP of Public Policy with the American Lung Association.

Michael Seilback held draft the new bill and says they also hope to lower the use among young people according to the CDC, the percentage of middle and high school students using e-cigs has more than doubled from 2011 to 2012.

As a restaurant owner, Mario DiBiase says e-cigs haven't been a huge problem yet.

"If we have a patron who is bothered by it we would ask them to go outside or move them to another part of the restaurant," said Mario DiBiase, the owner of Aperitivo Restaurant.

The new legislation would require that person to go outside.

There are mixed opinions on this.

If you want to put your 2 cents in, there is a public hearing on this new bill on December 4th and the City Council could vote on this by the end of year.