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Turn Off That Cigarette
April 20th, 2011

Michael Mandelkern filed this post.

City Councilmember Peter Vallone, who represents Astoria, has proposed a local law to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and prohibit anyone from smoking electronic cigarettes in certain public areas.

“People should start getting the word out there about these cigarettes,” Vallone said. “It’s absolutely not a healthy activity.”

Vallone has noticed tobacco shops in Astoria selling electronic cigarettes to minors, and although he is not sure how widespread sales are across the city he seeks to nip their availability to children in the bud. He has no qualms about adults who buy electronic cigarettes under the impression that they are safer than regular cigarettes, but he is concerned that the flavors, such as strawberry and vanilla, will entice youngsters to develop nicotine cravings before adulthood.

“There’s no reason for a child to smoke,” Vallone said. “We are trying to get out in front of the potential problem.”

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices filled with nicotine or other chemicals that turn into vapor when lit by a heating element. The federal Food and Drug Administration has not conclusively determined whether they curb nicotine addiction.

Under Vallone’s bill, businesses caught selling the devices to minors three times within a two-year period could lose their cigarette license. First-time violators would receive a fine of up to $500, $1,000 for a second violation within two years and $2,000 if the offense is committed three times within that time frame.

First-time offenders caught smoking electronic cigarettes in banned places would receive an initial fine between $200 to $400, $500 to 1,000 for a second offense within 12 months and $1,000 to $2,000 the third time.

Several other council members are co-sponsoring the bill.

Vallone does not expect the full City Council to vote on the measure for at least five months, but said he is “sure other members will overwhelmingly support the bill.”

By on April 20, 2011, 1:28 pm
In category: City Hall,Health | 9 Comments »

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9 Responses to “Turn Off That Cigarette”

  1. MrVaporEyes Says:
    April 20th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Vapor is not smoke, it’s water and a little flavoring and that’s all. It is no more harmful to the puffer, let alone a bystander, than the breath of someone chewing Nicolette gum. Banning the ecig or creating false information is the same as mass murder in my eyes. Anything to keep smokers from the safe alternative is murder. Truthful research is available at CASAA.org and Vapors Club as well as 100′s of blogs trying to repeat the research information, but only the lies get to the public. This is Plutocracy at work. If it was really about health, this ecig would have gotten the green light years ago. It’s SAFE! Kids don’t want it, they want regular cigs, they think of this as a fake cigarette for people wanting to quit smoking. Your biased and untested opinions will help shape public policy, so I would ask you to be more unbiased and fair in reporting on the ecigarette. Try reading the truth for the example. Banning in public will accomplish what? Find the proof that it harms bystanders, and good luck because that is a false claim.

  2. Robert Lew Says:
    April 21st, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I’m sure Peter Vallone would be able to PROVE that tobacco shops are selling to minors, right? Why are minors allowed into a tobacco shop in the first place? I’m all for banning the sale to minors, but at the same time, I am 31 and enjoy flavored nicotine when I vape. Dozens of vapers that I know personally feel the same way.

    Before fines start being handed out to folks that are not harming anyone with their vaping, Peter Vallone had better be able to PROVE that vapor is harmful.

  3. Justin Trullinger Says:
    April 22nd, 2011 at 5:41 am

    People should start getting the word out there about these cigarettes, Vallone said. Its absolutely not a healthy activity.

    This statement calls for a source, doesn’t it?

    You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Statements of fact like this one have to be proven. Can it be?

    “The federal Food and Drug Administration has not conclusively determined whether they curb nicotine addiction.”

    Nor have they made any attempt to. Nor, unless a drug license is applied for, is it their job to do so.

    There are a number of independent studies that suggest the effectiveness of this product, however. Saying “the FDA hasn’t determined” sounds like science, but it isn’t.

    The FDA hasn’t determined that electronic cigarettes are in any way injurious to health, either. The limited tests they have done indicate that they are SAFE. But does that go in the article?

    Of course not.

  4. RonT Says:
    April 22nd, 2011 at 8:47 am

    First falsehood: The FDA has not conclusively determined whether they curb nicotine addiction.

    Truth: E-cig are not meant to curb the addiction. They are meant to give people a safer better alternative to smoking. I was a smoker. I do not want to give up everything I like about smoking, but with smoking comes 4000 chemicals many of which are deadly. With e-cigs I have everything I love about smoking with out the danger to myself or anybody else.
    Second Falsehood: Its absolutely not a healthy activity.

    There have been numerous test done on what contents of e-cigs. All test have shown that the contents are no more and often less dangerous than patches or gums. Something that certain people do not want you to know so that people will blindly see e-cigs he same as normal cigs.

    Most real doctors out there when questioned about the dangers of vaping to others are of the opinion that in order for this water vapor to have any effect on another person we would have to blow the vape into their face while they inhaled.(This is not based on medical study this is based on asked and answered question brought on many vaping forums).

    To limit the places where people can vape hurts the ability for e-cigs to spread to a wider audience of people and could take it away as an option to them totally. To do so is the same as forcing people who can’t quit to have one less option that may save their life. With no proof of harm, and most medical science backing the safety of e-cigs, doing so is the worst kind of wrong.

    As far as keeping these out of the hands of kids. I am all for that. These are meant for adult smokers who want an alternative, nor for little Timmy or Jill. Bans on sales to minors would in no way hurt the industry or it’s ability to spread to adult smokers looking for another way.

    The flavors: They are actually a critical part of the experience. Flavors for smoking were meant to hide the nasty taste. Flavors for vaping are something to be explored and enjoyed by people who are trying to quit. It’s hard to explain if you are not a vaper but it gives us something that smoking never could. It helps many of us to stick with vaping if we don’t like the tobacco flavors and really can be a make or break part of the process.

    I have spoken to many venders and as of yet have not had one speak of a kid wanting to try e-cigs flavors or not.

    All we ask is to keep the freedom we enjoy with vaping and the ability for it to spread to others who’s lives it can save.

  5. NVRambo Says:
    April 22nd, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Mr. Vallone is an under-informed reactionary; these devices can be enjoyed with or without any nicotine involved dependent upon the preference of the end user.

    There is no disagreement in the vaping community – to my knowledge – that the restrictions to prevent sales of these devices to minors are certainly appropriate.

    If you could roll the clock ahead some five years, Vallone will probably be the first in line to place additional taxes on these devices “to protect the children”.

    It’s not a cigarette Pete. But you’re too lazy to research that, or you’re being intellectually dishonest for some other agenda.

    Face it: it’s not about “the kids”, it’s ultimately about tax revenues. It always is.

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    January 28th, 2013 at 11:44 am

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    April 12th, 2013 at 11:29 am

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  8. Dave Says:
    July 3rd, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Its absolutely not a healthy activity” said City Councilmember Peter Vallone.

    Surely a far unhealthier situation is that city councin members allow tobacco products to be slod at all – oh, but wait, they get a lot of tax from those don’t they?

    Ignore and carry on as before. Evil e-cigs.

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    July 31st, 2013 at 9:34 am

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