December 01, 2013

Staten Island lawmakers turn thumbs-down on proposal to ban e-cigarettes in public spaces

Proposed City Council legislation would ban e-cigarettes from offices, bars and places like parks and beaches.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Staten Island lawmakers blew smoke at proposed City Council legislation that would make it illegal to puff on an e-cigarette while you’re at work, in a bar, at the beach or in other public spaces.

"I support legislation that bans smoking in public places," said Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore). "However, knowing that people use e-cigarettes as a smoking-cessation measure, I am inclined not to support this bill."

Advance readers also turned thumbs-down on the proposal in an online poll on SILive.com. You can take the poll here.

The Council Health Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing on proposed legislation that would include electronic cigarettes in the city’s ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and public spaces like parks and beaches.

Ms. Rose is a member of the Health Committee.

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered, and allow users to inhale vaporized liquid nicotine instead of tobacco smoke.

The legislation is sponsored by Democratic Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman James Gennaro (D-Queens).

They say allowing e-cigarettes in places where tobacco cigarettes are banned threatens “effective enforcement” of the smoking ban and sends the wrong message to children that smoking is safe.

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