Friday, August 9, 2013

Bloomberg Is Trying To Snuff Out Your E-Cigs

Aug 9, 2013 by 

E-cigs

e-cigsThe Bloomberg administration is quietly working to explicitly categorize electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and enact a sweeping ban on flavored e-cigs.
The details of the plan come from a newly leaked draft of three tobacco-related bills currently making their way through the City Council; one would raise the tobacco age to 21, while another would prohibit the display of cigarette advertising in stores. A third bill would prohibit the use of tobacco coupons, create a $10.50 price floor for cigarette packs, and increase the fines against those selling illegal cigarettes.
Initially the bills, drafted by the Health Department and introduced into the Council at the request of Mayor Bloomberg, were silent concerning the City's position on electronic cigarettes.
"The bills were written with no intention of addressing electronic cigarettes at all," Health Department Commissioner Thomas Farley told e-cigarette proponents [PDF] at a hearing in May.
The draft language reveals that this is no longer the case. While menthol and tobacco flavored e-cigarettes would ostensibly remain available at convenience stores, the burgeoning flavored e-cig market would ironically be relegated to "tobacco bars," of which there are very few in New York City—mostly because they must have been in existence before December 31, 2001.
"This is a de facto ban on electronic cigarettes,"