Despite the mounting data about the benefits of electronic cigarette use, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo must not be getting the memos. In a move that can only be explained as pro-cancer, Governor Cuomo has decided to ban indoor vaping in restaurants, bars and places of employment - effectively treating such devices in the same fashion as combustible cigarettes.
If it is passive inhalation of toxins we are worried about, I have a suggestion for Governor Cuomo - perhaps he should move to a ranch in Wyoming. Simply step out on any NYC sidewalk on any given day and you will find yourself immediately assaulted with a plethora of respiratory insults - from the rank smells of garbage, vehicle exhaust, construction dust and debris, or malodorous indigents, just to name a few.
Governor Cuomo’s fear mongering creates a false equivalence between combustible cigarettes and vaping and nothing could be further from the truth. E-cigarette vapor and tobacco smoke are not the same - the trace amount of any potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarette vapor is not a threat to the health of smoking cessation users much less bystanders.
E-cigarettes provide the best alternative to smoking, saving untold sums in healthcare costs, not to mention the number of years of life gained. Having this valuable alternative has helped cause smoking rates to plummet, to a degree that smoking is now viewed as truly abnormal behavior. Why would Governor Cuomo attack something which has proven so valuable when the science against its use is largely lacking or pure conjecture?
Governor Cuomo’s move is about as anti-science as you can get. It is a real shame because the goal here should be smoking cessation for those who want to quit and harm reduction for those who won't or can't. It is impossible to say that any substance is without risk - heck, water can be deadly - should we ban that too? My appeal to anyone supporting this misguided legislation is to pump the brakes and try to support the fact that users of e-cigarettes are really trying to be healthier. Quite frankly, I find vapers’ commitment to stay quit from combustible cigarettes a giant leap in favor of public health. Is it the perfect answer to quitting smoking? Probably not, but it’s a good one.