December 18, 2017Products are Added to New York's Clean Indoor Air Act -
OSWEGO COUNTY - The Oswego County Health Department is reminding residents that the use of electronic cigarettes is now banned indoors everywhere that smoking tobacco products are prohibited in New York.
A law extending the ban was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in October and took effect Nov. 21. Previously, the use of e-cigarettes was banned from the grounds of public and private schools, preschools, nursery schools and elementary and secondary school properties, and any vehicles used to transport children or school personnel.
County Legislator John Proud (District 7, Mexico), President of the Oswego County Board of Health, said the County Health Department will enforce the ban on a complaint basis. The board of health studied the impact of e-cigarettes for several months and voted in August to support legislation extending the ban to include vaping.
Vaping means the use of an electronic cigarette. The Oswego County Health Department will provide signs that state "No Smoking or Vaping" upon request.
"Electronic nicotine and vapor delivery systems, which include e-cigarettes, vaping pens, e-hookah and similar devices, typically contain nicotine," said Legislator Proud. "Some ingredients found in e-cigarettes are considered toxic. There is no regulation of what chemicals e-cigarettes contain or how much nicotine the user is inhaling. These factors could lead to long-term adverse health effects for e-cigarette users and bystanders."
According to New York State Department of Health data, e-cigarette usage among high school students in New York State nearly doubled in the last two years from 10.5 percent in 2014 to 20.6 percent in 2016. It now far exceeds the rate of cigarette smoking. New York's high school student smoking rate in 2016 was the lowest on record at 4.3 percent, down from 27.1 percent in 2000. However, like cigarettes, e-cigarettes are aggressively marketed to teenagers to make them as appealing as possible with flavors such as mint chocolate and melon candy, and the mistaken belief that they are not harmful to users. A report by the U.S. Surgeon General also found that the use of e-cigarettes among youths and young adults is strongly associated with the use of other tobacco products.
"Although e-cigarette use is promoted as a healthier alternative to tobacco use by the vaping industry, research has shown that they may carry long-term health risks for users and those exposed to secondhand emissions," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking action to prevent exposure to secondhand e-cigarette emissions in public places for all New Yorkers."
The new law will reduce exposure to the potentially dangerous chemicals for e-cigarette users and those around them. Prior to electronic cigarettes being added to the Clean Indoor Air Act, only the smoking of substances containing tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes or pipes, were restricted in public places. While many counties have already banned the use of e-cigarettes in public places, including restaurants, bars and other work places, this bill makes the law consistent across New York State. This ban builds upon legislation signed in July by Governor Cuomo that immediately banned the use of e-cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State.
More information about e-cigarettes can be found at: Get the Facts - E-cigarettes are Dangerous to Youth and Adults. To report violations of the law in Oswego County, or to request a supply of "No Smoking or Vaping" signs, contact the environmental division of the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3557 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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