C-Store, Tobacco Industries Slam NYC’s E-Cigarette Plans

UPDATE2 3:02 p.m. with comments from Thomas Kiklas, co-founder of The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA)
UPDATE 2:39 p.m.: Includes comments from Greg Conley, Legislative Director for Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA)

e-cig

Leaked drafts of three New York City tobacco bills show an e-cigarette ban could be on the horizon.

It’s no secret Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on a crusade to stop New York City residents from smoking, with proposed anti-cigarette legislation to hide packs, ban coupons, and raise the tobacco age to 21. But it turns out e-cigarettes are also unexpectedly on the chopping block.

In a newly leaked draft of three tobacco-related bills soon to be voted on by the NYC City Council, the new definition of “tobacco products” under city law would be changed to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts and accessories.

Convenience store industry veteran tobacco consultant Lou Maiellano, president of Sevierville, Tenn.-based TAZ Marketing & Consulting Group, told Convenience Store Decisions that, “In light of recent research and its finding on electronic cigarettes, this proposal is simply absurd,” he said. “It makes me glad I live in Tennessee, where we don’t have to deal with this.”

If the New York City ordinances pass, the display of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco would be banned in retail stores, Fox News reported.

The documents were leaked by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), an advocacy group aimed at raising awareness and protecting rights to access to reduced harm alternatives.  What’s more, while tobacco and menthol flavored e-cigarettes would still be available in retail stores, all other flavored e-cigarettes could only be sold in age-restricted “tobacco bars.” Unfortunately,  New York City prohibits the operation of “tobacco bars” unless they were already in operation prior to  Dec. 31, 2001.

In May, an official from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stood before the Council Health Committee and stated that it was not their intention to regulate e-cigarette or ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Greg Conley, legislative director for Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), told Convenience Store Decisions today that approximately 20 e-cigarette users spoke before the Health Committee and it was strongly implied by the Council members that the ordinances would be amended to protect consumer access to low-risk alternatives.

“For three months, there was silence from the Mayor’s office, the Department of Health, and the City Council on the e-cigarette issue,” Conley said. “Now, with local media attention focused on the Mayoral race and other issues, a new draft of the ordinances has been leaked. The new drafts completely ignore the written and verbal comments made by e-cigarette users. Worse, the new drafts absurdly claim that e-cigarette marketing is designed to deter smokers from quitting, despite the fact that clinical trial and survey data show that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.”

Conley also indicated that the city’s effort to target e-cigarettes alone may not have had enough support. “Mayor Bloomberg’s office likely realizes that a standalone bill to stringently regulate the sale of e-cigarettes would be a tough sell,” he said. “It appears that the Bloomberg administration is banking on the City Council rubber stamping their new ordinances, the passage of which would constitute a backdoor, unannounced ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and e-cigarette liquid in New York City. Banning flavored e-cigarettes will do absolutely nothing to protect public health. Indeed, considering the clear evidence that e-cigarettes are helping smokers quit or greatly reduce their cigarette consumption, restricting availability could lead less smokers to quit.

Like Maiellano, Conley called New York’s effort puzzling. “Electronic cigarettes are one of the most significant public health and technological breakthroughs of the last half-century and it would be a terrible mistake for the NYC Council to enact these ordinances.”

Thomas Kiklas, co-founder of The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA), said the proposal by New York City is shortsighted.

“Four Million Americans are now using the electronic cigarette and its sales are projected to reach a billion dollars by year’s end and quadruple in the coming years. For many, the electronic cigarette is new technology but for us, the electronic cigarette industry, our origins date back to 2007,” Kiklas told Convenience Store Decisions. “There are now over 30 scientific studies on the electronic cigarette and in not one has there ever been found any contaminant that is at any level harmful to humans. The City of New York has the public’s well being as their responsibility and has a fiduciary duty to perform full due diligence on the electronic cigarette and its current science prior to any vote or even public comments on any upcoming action. By mitigating or even banning the sales of the electronic cigarette (the city cannot legally ban the sales of e-cigs as they are regulated as a tobacco product by the FDA) sadly shows they have a conclusion in search of any fact to support their intended outcome.”

The bill, which can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.scribd.com/doc/158711129/Updated-New-York-City-Council-Ordinance-to-Ban-E-Cigarette-Flavors  claimed, “Electronic cigarette marketing is often designed to deter smokers from quitting and to attract youth.” It cites a study in Florida that found 8.4% of high school students had tried an e-cigarette last year, a 40% increase from 2011.

The bill further noted, “The Council therefore finds that increasing the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 years of age will reduce smoking, tobacco and electronic cigarette use by youth and young adults and decrease the likelihood that members of this cohort will become smokers or electronic cigarette users later in life.” 

“This is a de facto ban on electronic cigarettes,” a community health professor told Gothamist, as quoted by New York Magazine. “Pretty much all electronic cigarettes are flavored; they’re essentially flavored products. You’re basically telling a bunch of ex-smokers to go back to cigarettes.” He called the plan a “public health disaster.”

 

 

  • Joey

    Bloomberg is an asshole

  • 6pointprime

    This document has audio recordings of NYC Politicians lying to e-cigarette users at a NYC Health Committee hearing:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/159186684/NYC-Ecig-Ban

  • Fleck Distributions

    I have a few things on this topic that I would like to share. I would like the New York public to take a look at the truth about E-Cigarettes and they will be able to see for themselves that e cigarettes are not hurting anyone.
    http://www.tveca.com/?q=node/6
    And recently:
    http://publichealth.drexel.edu/SiteData/docs/ms08/f90349264250e603/ms08.pdf

  • jacksdadinaz

    unbelievable — this guy is a freak! This sort of thing is beyond unconstitutional in my opinion. I quit smoking after almost 30 years using an e cigarette from http://www.lecig.com and I very rarely use it at all anymore. It sits on the desk and every once in awhile I have a puff, not like having to “smoke the whole thing before it goes in the ashtray” before. Bloomberg is out of control.

  • John Lip

    Bloomberg is a Czar with delusions of reference, persecution and grandeur. At 5’6″, his stunted growth and overcompensations have created a obsessive-compulsive need to control others lifes in an autocratic and dictatorial manner. I took the time to watch Gregory Conley’s appearance before the City Council ( on youtube and Casaa Website) and it was more than obvious that Mr Conley’s assertions were accepted and even solicited as he offered advise as to rewriting the statute to omit ecigarettes and was thanked by council members. Now, months later, Council now wants to include a ban??? Bloomberg your controlling and tantrums are so desperate that they sicken those that still think. I toast you with a sugary, softdrink!

  • Steven Janiszewski

    The latest study out of Virginia Tech shows that nicotine is equally as dangerous as
    tar. E-Cigarettes are just another way for tobacco companies to make
    money off of nicotine junkies. Do not be deceived.

    If you want to kick the nicotine monkey off your back, get “Stop Smoking and Lose
    Weight: A Buddhadharmically Enhanced Alchemical Transmutation Process,” by Tharpa Lodro, available at:

    http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Smoking-Weight-Buddhadharmically-ebook/dp/B00E55R8F6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374761933&sr=1-1#

    And just do it.

    • Path

      Hey guy, e-cigarettes weren’t developed by tobacco companies, and only after having their profits cut into by the product did they enter the market. Also, you can use liquid that has zero nicotine.

  • Marcus Black

    Yes E cigarettes are really not harmful and do not contain those thousands of hazardous compounds which normal tobacco cigarette contains. These cigarettes were invented for manufacturing a product which can be prove helpful in preventing tobacco selling and to some extent this has been worked. For knowing more benefits of e cigarettes read the blog http://www.smokerelief.co.uk/articles/benefits-of-electronic-cigarettes

  • http://www.pulsarvaporizers.com/ Pulsar Vaporizers

    I can understand the fear of allowing people to smoke e-cigs in the workplace, but I do believe it is unfounded. I guess employers fear it is a slippery slope. My employer has a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy as long as people don’t flaunt it. I didn’t even think about the possibility til my daughter bought me one and made me promise to quit smoking. The day I got it was the last day I smoked a cigarette. Occasionally I have tried smoking a regular cig again, but usually I just end up putting it out about halfway through (unless I’m drinking, then all bets are off … haha).

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