News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More
Dec 21, 2013 07:04 PM EST | Shane Jordan
This past Thursday, the New York City Council approved legislation, 43 to 8, that would prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in indoor public spaces. The law will only go into effect if New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs it, which he is all but certain to do.
The new law has already sparked some heated debate among city residents. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told CBS that the new law would make it easier to enforce the city’s Smoke-Free Air Act, that has already banned smoking of cigarettes in restaurants, bars, hotels and other indoor public spaces:
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“Because many of the e-cigarettes are designed to look like cigarettes and be used just like them, they can lead to confusion or confrontation...It’s not the norm anymore. Very few people feel uncomfortable now saying you can’t smoke in public. We don’t want to step backwards in that.”
Quinn also went on to state that even though the electronic cigarettes are generally considered less detrimental to a person's health, they are still highly addictive. Their acceptance, she went on to say, could create new customers for tobacco products and undermine the message that smoking should only occur in one's own home.
According to NBC News, Miguel Martin, president of Logic Technology Development, the nation's third-largest e-cigarette manufacturer, argued that electronic cigarettes were no stepping stone to real tobacco.
"'That's a non-issue,' Martin told CNBC on Thursday. 'The data indicates that about 99 percent of the vast amount of users of electronic cigarettes are [already] smokers. We're disappointed in the City Council's position,' he said."
Whatever the science, there are only a handful of states that have included electronic cigarettes in their bans, but if the law passes, many people expect other major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago to follow suit.
What do you think? Is this one more example of big government trying to control your life? Or is it just common sense? You be the judge and let us know. Tell us your thoughts in the comment field below.
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