NEWS RELEASE

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2012

67th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT ♦ NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY

CONTACT: Nicholas E. Smith, 212.873.6368 or 347.471.5841 smithn@assembly.state.ny.us

ASSEMBLYMEMBER LINDA B. ROSENTHAL'S LEGISLATION BANNING THE SALE OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES TO MINORS PASSES ASSEMBLY UNANIMOUSLY
New York, NY - Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan)'s legislation that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and regulate them in the same way that other tobacco products are currently regulated, passed the Assembly unanimously today, with a vote of 105-0. Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that vaporize cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other, unknown chemicals that the user inhales. "I am gratified that the Assembly has passed my bill, A.9044-B, a common-sense piece of legislation that will protect young people from the potential health risks associated with the use of electronic cigarettes," she said. “It will also help to avert a lifetime of cigarette smoking in young people and teens by preventing them from using this ‘gateway’ device. Young people who begin smoking electronic cigarettes are very likely to move away from electronic cigarettes and onto the real thing. This is a behavior that the State has a responsibility to prevent and my bill is narrowly tailored to do just that," she said. E-cigarettes are manufactured both in the U.S. and internationally, with no regulations whatsoever. Different brands use varying amounts of nicotine and unidentified chemicals. They are marketed as a smoking cessation device or a healthier alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products. They are meant to appeal to young people, as they are manufactured with different flavors, such as watermelon and bubble gum, and marketed by other young people who smoke them in bars and nightclubs. More than one million people smoke in New York City alone. Another 1.3 million New York City residents are former smokers. Tobacco kills more New Yorkers each year than AIDS, drugs, homicide and suicide combined. Most smokers have acknowledged that they began smoking as a teenager or before the age of 18. While electronic cigarettes may be a useful, albeit potentially dangerous, smoking cessation device that have helped many smokers kick the habit by trading in their cigarettes for the electronic version, they act as a gateway for young people. "If we can prevent even one young person from becoming a smoker, we can potentially save a life. That is the goal of my bill, and it should be passed swiftly by the State Senate," added Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal represents the Upper West Side and parts of Clinton/Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan ###

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