E-Cigarette Ban in Albany and Schuyler Counties

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | Categories:

ALBANY COUNTY, NY (WENY) -- Electronic cigarette smokers may soon have to head outside to use their devices.

     Local lawmakers in Albany County voted Monday to ban the use of e-cigarettes in areas covered under the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2003. The measure passed 31 to 6.
     Other counties that prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas banned through this same law include: Cattaraugus, Erie, Putnam, Suffolk, Tompkins and New York City.

     The law ensures that smoking is prohibited in virtually all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Now, with the addition of e-cigarettes, the same prohibitive measures apply to the use of such devices in the workplace.

     Schuyler County passed legislation Monday as well, that prohibits smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and smoking devices in all county-owned or leased buildings, grounds, vehicles and county-operated mass transportation.
     Violators of the ban passed in Albany County could face severe fines. Fines go as high as $1,000 for the first violation and $2,000 for any additional violation.

     Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only regulates electronic cigarettes that are marketed for therapeutic purposes. The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes used for recreation purposes.

     "People can put for example, they can be advertised as nicotine free, but then they're tested and there is still some nicotine. So there can be things in it that they're claiming are not in it. So, it's just hard to know and so many unknowns," said Teresa Matterazzo, Community Engagement Coordinator, Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition (STTAC).

     The STTAC was consulted on the recently passed legislation on banning e-cigarettes in county spaces in Schuyler County.

     Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently released data about a significant decrease in tobacco smokers in New York State.

     According to the governor's website, data shows smoking rates among students has declined by 42% over the last four years, while adult smoking rates have also decreased to 14.5%.

     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that more than a quarter of a million youth, who had never smoked a cigarette, used e-cigarettes in 2013. This is according to a CDC study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The number shows an increase of three times the amount from 79,000 in 2011 to 263,000 in 2013.

     Last year, the Albany County Executive, Dan McCoy, implemented an executive order to ban the use of e-cigarettes on all county owned property.  McCoy has 30 days to sign or veto Monday's passed legislation.

     For more information about the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act (Public Health Law, Article 13-E), visit http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/3402/.
     For more information about the Schuler County legislation, visit http://www.schuylercounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/1032.

     For more information about the FDA's public hearing on e-cigarettes, visit http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm172906.htm.

     For more information about the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition, visit /.

     For more information about the Governor's report on smoking rates, visit https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-new-yorks-smoking-rates-reduced-lowest-levels-recorded-state-history.

     For more information about the CDC data on e-cigarette usagage, visit http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0825-e-cigarettes.html

- See more at: http://www.weny.com/news/general/e-cigareete-ban-in-albany-and-schuyler-counties#sthash.seiMtxDp.dpuf
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