A group representing smokers’ rights in New York has challenged the legal decision by the New York City government to ban electronic cigarettes in many public places, including restaurants and parks.
New York has increasingly restricted use of regular cigarettes in the City, under the Smoke-Free Air Act brought in by the now replaced 108th Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomburg, over the past decade.
Controversially in December, the council expanded these regulations to include e-cigarettes. The group hopes to prove the bill goes against both State Constitution and City Charter, by being in breach of the “single subject law” – which stipulates legislation, may only deal with one main issue – in this case, tobacco cigarettes, not e-cigarettes.
The suit claims as e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, or contain tobacco; they cannot be part of the Smoke-Free Air Act, as this law prevents the exposure of tobacco smoke to non-smokers.
E-cigarettes rather than producing smoke like a normal cigarette produce water vapour, ensuring both first hand and second hand smoke are not an issue.
"E-Cig regulation is, even in the Council's words, at best, tangentially related to the subject of smoking, in much the same way that toy water guns are at best tangentially related to authentic firearms," the lawsuit said.
Many smokers have turned to electronic cigarettes, such as Gamucci as a way of circumnavigating smoking laws both in the US and the UK. Whilst many businesses actively encourage their use, for many reasons, including their lack of smell, or smoke, to the minimising breaks in the work day for cigarettes.