Public Smoking AND Quitting Smoking Now Both to be Outlawed in the Big Apple?
New York to Vote on Banning Public Use of Device that Helps Smokers Quit
The Nanny State Marches On
New York, NY - This week, the New York City Council is expected to vote on a bill that would ban the use of e-cigarettes where cigarette smoking is banned. In an op-ed in today's New York Post, "Bloomberg's E-Cig Ban Likely to do More Harm than Good," the National Center for Public Policy Research warns City Council members that not only will the bill not have the desired effect, it could do harm.
"The key idea is that e-cigs somehow facilitate tobacco smoking - but the best evidence suggests the reverse, that they're mainly useful for (and used by) people trying to quit. So the ban is likely to do harm, not good," writes National Center for Public Policy Research Senior Fellow Jeff Stier, the author of the op-ed.
Earlier this month, Stier testified at the City Council health committee where the issue was debated.
I would caution you that this is not the prudent thing to do. The prudent thing to do here is to help cigarette smokers quit. Rushing to judgment here could have serious, unintended consequences that you need to be aware of. It will stop people from quitting smoking. E-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking. The data does not show that. E-cigarettes are a gateway to quitting smoking.
"Nicotine," Stier explains, "is addictive, but not particularly harmful, especially at the levels consumed by smokers or users of e-cigarettes, who are called 'vapers' for the vapor, rather than smoke, emitted by e-cigarettes."
"Nicotine's bad reputation should be attributed to its most common delivery device, cigarettes," says Stier. "Nicotine itself is about as dangerous as the caffeine in soda. Along the same lines, while too much soda can cause weight gain, nobody seriously suggests that caffeine causes obesity. Similarly, e-cigarettes provide the nicotine and the habitual activity of smoking, without the danger of burning tobacco."
Stier's op-ed, available here, also provides responses various charges by e-cig ban supporters.
"...Ban fans suggest it's just the prudent thing to do until we have more data," concludes Stier in the op-ed. "No, the prudent thing to do is to help smokers trying to quit."
Stier's testimony before the New York City Council's health committee can be viewed on YouTube here.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.
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