NYC Council Votes on E-Cigarette Ban Today


FIN e-cigarette ad

Today the New York City Council is expected to vote on an ordinance that would ban the use of electronic cigarettes in bars, restaurants, office buildings, parks, and other public places, despite the complete absence of evidence that they pose a hazard to bystanders. Yesterday the council's Committee on Health unanimously approved the ban, apparently swayed by arguments like this:

"Manufacturers of the devices are really in the addiction business," said City Councilman James Gennaro of Queens. "This is what they're selling. They're selling addiction. They're selling in flavors like cotton candy, Cap'n Crunch, and all these flavors that appeal to kids. This is what this is about."

It's a little hard to decipher exactly what the "this" is that this is about. But I gather that Gennaro, the main sponsor of the ban, worries that electronic cigarettes will be a gateway to smoking for teenagers, even though there is no evidence that is happening. In fact, the recent increase in e-cigarette use by teenagers, which has been concentrated among smokers, has been accompanied by a continued decline in cigarette consumption.

Gennaro previously has said he worries that kids will mistake e-cigarettes for the conventional kind, conclude that smoking must be cool again, and proceed directly to a pack-a-day habit that will threaten their health and shorten their lives. There is no evidence to support that concern either, but who needs evidence when children's lives are at stake?

In seeking to protect hypothetical children from an utterly speculative hazard, Gennaro punishes actual adults who have switched from smoking to vaping, thereby dramatically reducing the health risks they face. He also discourages others from following their example by eliminating an important advantage that e-cigarettes currently enjoy. The predictable result will be more, not less, smoking-related disease and death.

Although Reuters calls the e-cigarette ban an "anti-tobacco" measure, that is an odd way to describe it, since e-cigarettes contain no tobacco and generate no combustion products. If anything, Gennaro's bill is a pro-tobacco measure that will encourage people to consume their nicotine along with myriad toxins and carcinogens rather than choosing a much cleaner method.

The general public seems to be much more sensible about such matters than the members of the New York City Council. In the latest Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey, 62 percent of respondents said the government should let people use e-cigarettes in public. 

Update: The ban passed.

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  1. They’re selling in flavors like cotton candy, Cap’n Crunch, and all these flavors that appeal to kids. This is what this is about.”

    This is just retarded. If I could get cigarettes in Cotton Candy or Cap’n Crunch flavor, I’d give up menthols.

    Wait, menthol is minty. Children love mints! THEY’RE MARKETING NEWPORTS TO INFANTS!!!!11!1!!1!eleven!11!

    1. I don’t know why people want any of that. I smoke tobacco because I like tobacco flavor (and nicotine, of course).

      1. I like the taste of tobacco too. But I like the taste of mint even more and I like the taste of Cap’n Crunch even more than that.

        It’s like adding spices to your meal. unseasoned meat and potatoes is delicious. Seasoned meat and potatoes is even more delicious.

    2. This is such horseshit, too. Where the hell has he seen cotton candy or Cap’n Crunch-flavored e-cigs? I guarantee you he’s just mangling something somebody else told him (that they heard from someone else, which they heard from someone else, ad infinitum).

  2. It’s a little hard to decipher exactly what the “this” is that this is about.


  3. It’s New York, who cares? They elected these shitheads.

    1. Yes, because all those who didn’t vote for them should suffer too. You collective guilt scum really have no problem with collectivism when it suits you, do you.

      1. This.

        By Drake’s logic, “who cares about obamacare? America elected that shithead. Deal with it”

        1. Drake deserves everything Obama serves up. After all, he elected him. By his own logic.

      2. I live in NJ, you will barely hear a whimper from anyone opposed to this law. And nobody will run next year on a platform opposing this or any other nanny-state law. Look who they just elected Mayor in a landslide. The place is lost.

        1. I was born in NJ. My entire family is from NJ. I’ve spend copious amounts of time in NJ. You know what my family did/does regarding stupid fuck laws like that? They ignored them. They certainly didn’t support or condone them. So do they deserve such laws? Do you?

          Collectivism is the last refuge of scum.

          1. This explains a lot about New Jersey.

          2. Born and reared in NJ. The state is teeming with assholes (Epi’s family excluded).

            NJ has 20% more population density than the second densest state (RI). Basically, it’s mostly a vast suburb populated urban spillover.

            There is zero culture of liberty in the place. Honestly, we’d all be better off if it could be cleared out a la Detroit.

            1. I plan to flee NJ someday – but I like the northwest corner of the state (Warren and Sussex counties). The mix of farms, woods, and towns, the people, and even the people we elect such as Scott Garrett.

              It’s a damn shame it’s attached to the rest of NJ.

          3. I live in NJ so NYC laws don’t apply to me. There are plenty of stupid state laws here that I have to ignore.

            While I have decent representation at the state and national levels, they are almost always outvoted by the people representing big cities.

  4. Gennaro previously has said he worries that kids will mistake e-cigarettes for the conventional kind, conclude that smoking must be cool again, and proceed directly to a pack-a-day habit that will threaten their health and shorten their lives.

    The fact that people this stupid and/or mendacious have power of me and mine, makes me think that the “preppers” aren’t as looney as these shows like to make them out to be.

  5. Yeah, if it wasn’t all about control, anti-smoking people would be beside themselves with joy to see how few people actually smoke these days and how socially unacceptable it has become in many places. Shit, lots of people who smoke don’t even smoke in their own homes anymore. But they just have to keep pushing until everyone does things their way.

    1. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.

      1. This.

        They won, they can go home now, their work is done. All the stuff labor unions used to fight for like the 8-hour day, overtime pay, etc. has all been codified into law. But did they stop when they won?

        Nope. Like born bureaucrats, they will just expand their scope because they lust for power.

  6. And fuck these people twice. It’s their fault that I won’t quit smoking. Any time I hear anything about the anti-smoking nazis, it makes me feel like if I quit I’d be letting them win.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one with that particular contrarian attitude. Every time I see one of those “truth” commercials, I light up a cigarette. Even if I’ve just had one and don’t really have a craving.

      “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” – Zach Dela Rocha

      1. Quoting Zach the Roach pretty much nullifies anything you say after that.

        1. That’s why I put it last.

          Seriously, I think Zach is a moron. But there are a few lines like that one that I like and use in my own context.

          1. I hear ya. It’s a noble sentiment, one I agree with, but I just can’t behind something popularized (in this context) by the worst kind of idiot.

        2. Nah. That line is worth quoting. You don’t have to endorse everything a person has ever said just because you appreciate one thing they said.

          1. I bet if you look hard enough, you’ll find great quotes that you would like from Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Obama

            Ok, maybe not Obama.

            1. If we have to disavow everything someone said because of something they said, we’d have no need for language.

    2. I quit smoking because I didn’t want cancer. I started e-cigs so I could get some cancer-free nicotine when I drink. Fuck these assholes.

      Also, there is something in tobacco other than nicotine that makes it much harder to quit. A couple smokers I know have told me that they have partially switched to e-cigs, but couldn’t go all the way because e-cigs weren’t totally fulfilling the itch.

      I can understand this from the other side – I remember jonesing badly when I quit smokes; staying away from e-cigs is much, much easier. This is probably why the patch and nicotine gum aren’t noted for reliably helping their uses quit.

      1. I think it is cigarettes in particular. I’ve never been able to substitute pipe or cigar smoking for cigarettes either. There is just something about the hit you get off of a cigarette that really hooks you.

      2. I don’t smoke enough to worry about cancer, but I tried e-cigs anyway. The difference is in the entire act. When you go to smoke a cigarette, it’s a process. You’ve just said “I am now taking a few minutes to have a smoke”, and you expect a certain something out of it. With an e-cig, you can just stop and take a puff, then put it down. It’s not lit, so it doesn’t have to be smoked all the way down like a real cig. So the “break” aspect of the cigarette is lost with e-cigs, and I think that’s part of the problem.

        1. You just want to have something to do with your hands, that’s acceptable in polite company.

        2. Zeb – well, most people don’t really inhale pipe or cigar smoke

          Epi – I don’t doubt that there’s a behavioral aspect to it, but I really think there’s more to it than that. I quit smoking 18 years ago, and it was brutal. I felt like there was a rat running around in my head. It really took all my will power just to stay away from them.

          I did get myself re-addicted to nicotine with the e-cigs, but the jonesing when I go without is nowhere near the same level. I don’t fear quitting them, if need be for monetary or other reasons.

          1. Yeah, I can’t relate to your experience, since I am very lucky that I do not get addicted to nicotine. If you tell me I can’t smoke, oh well…I don’t really care. Long plane flight? Don’t care. I just do it because I like it, but stopping or not having some has never been a problem for me. But I have seen people who are addicted, and it looks brutal.

      3. Speaking solely for myself, I find that e-cigs are fine and dandy, but they’re not a real substitute for an actual cigarette. In my case, I like the taste of tobacco, don’t care about nicotine, and really, really enjoy the sensation of inhaling hot smoke. Weird? Sure. I’d smoke nicotine-free tobacco cigarettes if they were available.

        So, I tried e-cigs, and still vape from time to time, but it’s just not the same. I only smoke when I drink, so I go through maybe a pack of cigarettes a week. Once my kid is born I’ll probably just go cold turkey barring the odd smoke while out with the fellas.

        1. Are you part of the H&R breeding program now, too?

  7. “This is what they’re selling. They’re selling addiction.”

    I assume City Councilman James Gennaro of Queens also would like to ban the state lottery, porn, nutella, nicorette, etc., since they all “sell addiction” too?

    1. Don’t forget anything that contains caffeine and alcohol too. Producers of anything containing those chemicals are selling addiction!!!

    2. Not to mention the various welfare and benefit programs that foster dependence on state largesse.

  8. It’s not complicated, it’s plain old corruption. The tobacco companies have billions to spend and these politicians are in their pocket. They even get to sell their pro-tobacco actions as anti-tobacco! Mayor Emmanuel in Chicago has been doing the same thing.

    1. Yeah, there is a certain perverse beauty to this. One almost feels compelled to admire it. Almost.

  9. “The predictable result will be more, not less, smoking-related disease and death.”

    Yeah, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. I told ’em not to smoke – they smoked. If they hadn’t done what I told ’em not to do, they’d still be alive.

  10. Although Reuters calls the e-cigarette ban an “anti-tobacco” measure, that is an odd way to describe it,

    Never underestimate the government’s ability to yadda yadda.

    European countries have been doing this shit for years.

    Decree: You’re not beer, because you don’t follow x and y guidelines.

    Beer maker: Ok, fine, we’re not beer, then we shant pay our beer tax!

    Decree: Yes, you will continue to pay your beer tax because bugger ye, that’s why!

  11. Needs more Admiral Crunch jokes!

    1. ADMIRAL!? Admiral?…admiral….

      1. Inflation, social promotion, don’tcha know.

      2. You lie! On Crunch Alpha Five there was life! A fair chance…

        1. I will leave you as you left her, in the center of a half-empty cereal bowl, buried alive….buried alive….

          1. “It’s a buncha muncha cruncha human!”

    2. What, nothing about Archduke Chocula?

      1. His reign was nothing but empty promises of huge tracts of cocoa producing land!

  12. To paraphrase Fear: “New York’s Alright. If you like nanny staters.”

    1. Can’t wait to get out of here. There’s so much to do and yadda yadda, but the nanny state is beyond ridiculous. I work in the bar and restaurant industry. To us it is clear that they are anti-small business. There’s always a fine to pay or a “service fee” for something you didn’t ask for.

      I have Atlanta in mind for the future. From my visits there recently it seems at least better than NYC in this regard, which isn’t hard to do really.

      1. I can’t live in a city where (apparently) it’s impossible to drive around town or find parking spots. I find the idea of riding in crowd infested subways very revolting.

        The East Coast can kiss my ass. What is it like to watch sports games at 10 PM or midnight?

        1. Any game starting at 10 or midnight probably isn’t worth watching. What’s it like to watch sports at 9 am?

        2. Being in this industry it’s not bad at all. I go to bed anywhere between 3 and 6 in the morning most days and wake up at somewhere around 11 or 12.

          But yeah, NFL Football at 10 a.m. seems kind of insane to me.

  13. Sounds like a plan dude.


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