The Electronic Cigarette Industry Group (ECIG), a non-profit association of consumers, manufacturers, importers and distributors of electronic cigarettes, has issued a statement in response to the decision by the City Council of New York City to include e-cigarettes in the city’s Smoke-Free Air Act, which bans smoking in bars, restaurants, parks and other public places.
“The decision by the New York City Council last night is disappointing on a number of fronts,” said Eric Criss, President of ECIG. “Electronic cigarettes show promise as a meaningful alternative to traditional tobacco products, and these devices should not be regulated in the same manner. There are a number of publicly available studies that refute claims made in support of public vaping bans, but the NYC’s Council has chosen to ignore this evidence and instead equate electronic cigarettes with combusted cigarettes. Given that the FDA is poised to issue its own regulations, the crusade by state and local city governments to try and ban or regulate e-cigarettes is not only premature, but counterproductive to the efforts of millions of Americans seeking an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Local government should let the process of reviewing science and evidence run its course, and sensible regulations will follow.”
“Above all else, the role of our government should be to further advance the nation’s efforts to reduce the harm and death toll caused by combustible tobacco products,” said Charles O’Conner, the former American Lung Association CEO and current consultant to ECIG. “Electronic cigarettes are poised to revolutionize the tobacco industry by one day making traditional cigarettes obsolete. But by impulsively and inaccurately lumping vaping in with traditional cigarette smoking, a ban on these game-changing devices will discourage other smokers from trying a positive alternative.”
Federal deeming regulations are expected to be released shortly by the FDA following the White House’s review process, but in the meantime ECIG will continue to advocate for smart, targeted regulatory action in the e-cigarettes space.