Legislatures in Albany County, New York voted on Monday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in areas where cigarette smoking is already banned. The Clean Indoor Air Act of 2003 banned cigarette smoking in most workplaces, including bars and restaurants, in the state of New York. This new measure to ban e-cigarette usage still awaits the signature of County Executive Dan McCoy, who has already banned vaping in and around county buildings. Cattaraugus, Lynbrook, Suffolk, and Tompkins counties in New York have already put in place the similar bans on e-cigarettes.
According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, electronic cigarette use has more than tripled among youths in the past year. E-cigarettes are designed to allow users to inhale the vaporized nicotine liquid without any actual smoke. This allows users to not have to worry about inhaling fumes from the papers of cigarettes and other toxic chemicals, which could be carcinogenic. Although the safety risks of e-cigarettes are not fully researched, evidence suggests that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes. However, they still contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance, and users can suffer from withdrawal symptoms after quitting e-cigarettes including feeling irritable, depressed, restless, and anxious.
There is also a concern that e-cigarettes could be a gateway drug that leads nonsmokers and kids to using tobacco cigarettes. Some makers of e-cigarettes seem to be targeting younger audiences with flavored cartridges like vanilla or cherry.