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E-cigarettes Banned In New York City – Is Utica Next?

NYC City Council has banned E-cigarettes in exactly the same way that real cigarettes are banned indoors. As a non-smoking musician who used to play smoky club after club, I can appreciate the difference in atmosphere that the original ban has offered, but THIS?

 

Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images

Even though e-cigs don’t present a second-hand health risk to those around this new breed of ‘smokers’, they still contain varying amounts of nicotine in order to help the smokers themselves quit, which is the reason for the ban on paper, but is there more to the story? Well, not officially but it does make some people uncomfortable to see someone toke on anything even if it’s a fake cig and breathe out wator vapor. It just LOOKS real, so it’s difficult for some spectators to disassociate it with behavior that they find repulsive. After all, chewing tobacco is already banned too in part because of how it looks even though those around them aren’t affected health-wise, so does this new ban hold water or is it just a bunch of smoke (ahem, vapor) getting blown up NYC’s collective skirts (and soon ours too)?

 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Politics aside, why can’t smokers who are trying to kick the habit just use nicotine gum or the patch, both of which don’t have a social stigma attached? Well, as a friend to many smokers, I’ve never met one who didn’t want to quit, nor one who hasn’t tried multiple methods to do so. Let’s face it, besides the nicotine and all of the smoke, this is really a psychological issue and also a PHYSICAL hand-to-mouth one. So, from a smoker’s standpoint, e-cigs give them some of what they’re used to and although they’re still harming themselves to a degree, they no longer have to go outside to get their fix. Even though I don’t smoke and can’t even remember what a smoky atmosphere indoors is like, I always hate when the conversation has to stop because they (usually quite a few ‘theys’) have to excuse themselves for a smoke break. So, aren’t e-cigs a step up or does it give a recent brand of smokers a newfound sense of entitlement?

My instinct says that there’s even more to this story than government trying to protect it’s citizens, both smoking and non, and I’d be willing to bet that it has more to do with what most governments REALLY care about… Their cashflow. But that’s just me. Chime in below.

Total Cost Of Smoking Per Year Is Around $3,000

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