If you had to go through all the people and all the authorities that you know that are pro electronic cigarettes and trying their best to keep them alive as a technology, NATO probably wouldn’t be top of that list. The international organisation has recently stepped in to purge New York City to drop it’s ridiculous ideas about banning electronic cigarettes in public places.
This is one of the hottest news articles in electronic cigarettes for some time. New York City has always been seen as liberal and progressive, but it is currently in a situation where it may well group electronic cigarettes alongside tobacco cigarettes, and ban them in public places.
We are not just talking about restaurants and bars here. They are planning to stop people from using electronic cigarettes at parks and beaches too.
Draconian behavior from New York on e-cigs
We think it is bordering on draconian behaviour. But we also see the other side of things too, especially when you think about public places like restaurants and bars. The park thing has got to us though, and we still can’t understand why anyone would be offended by someone using an electronic cigarette in a park.
Anyway, NATO has stepped in. It has urged New York City and it’s Councilmen and women on the committee to stop debating the possibility of using electronic cigarettes in public spaces. The city has a smoke free air act, which it has used to make sure that tobacco cigarettes are not being used in public.
Planned amendments to the smoke free air act would create a situation where electronic cigarettes are treated in the same way as tobacco cigarettes. But this is where the problem lies. If New York city wanted to take this truly seriously, it would create more legislation exclusively aimed at electronic cigarettes.
As it stands, it is trying to create an amendment to an act that has the word ‘smoke’ in its title. As we all know, electronic cigarettes do not emit smoke. Rather, they only emit water vapour. This means that New York City could well try and amend and act with a measure that violates the title of the act itself. It’s all rather silly and as we have said before, borders possibly on civil liberties.
Different elsewhere, where you can vape at work
This is all very different to the situation elsewhere in the country. Many employers, especially in the mid west of the country, are encouraging their employees to use electronic cigarettes in the workplace. There are ways around this that do not involve people necessarily using their devices at their desks.
For example, recent events in London testify to this. Heathrow airport has just opened up its ownvaping zone. Here, passengers can use their electronic cigarettes in designated areas, much like the old smoking lounges. This time, there is no smell and no smoke.
This is the way forward. If New York City wanted to make an effort to try and include all these people who use electronic cigarettes it would try and be more inclusive through setting up vapingzones like the one at Heathrow airport. Instead, it is trying to alienate the thousands of electronic cigarette users in New York City by stopping them from using their devices anywhere in public.
Now, we do not know why NATO has got involved. We like the fact that they have got involved, because they are a huge international body that has decided to lend it’s wait to a rather serious argument. This is rare, and is to be applauded.
Scientific evidence that is positive for e-cigs
What is interesting here is that NATO spoke to the health committee and mentioned that the smoke free act was based on scientific evidence. This means that tobacco companies and New York City work together to ascertain whether or not it was necessary to remove smoke from the air in the city. Scientific evidence was used, and the conclusion was reached.
Essentially, NATO is arguing that electronic cigarettes do not violate the smoke-free air act. By arguing this, it makes it clear that New York City has to use science once more. It has to go back to research and data and ascertain whether or not there is anything emitted by electronic cigarettes that may cause problems to health.
Health was the reason the smoke free act came into being. And health should also be a factor in deciding whether or not electronic cigarettes should be allowed to be used in public.
It is interesting to see that people are not necessarily jumping to find out whether there is scientific evidence of the dangers of electronic cigarettes. They are almost discounting science and just moving ahead to ban or regulate electronic cigarettes heavily.
It is significant here that NATO asks New York City to wait for the FDA ruling. The FDA, according to NATO, would look at the scientific evidence before making any regulation decisions. Science, in other words, is vital right now.
Unfortunately then, a ban on electronic cigarettes
Somehow, we think New York City will move ahead anyway. New York City tends to get what New York City wants. It will ban electronic cigarettes, face a backlash from electronic cigarette users and certain people in the media and in manufacturing, and still go ahead anyway.
What’s funny about this article, or not depending on how you see it, is that the FDA for a change come out on top. The fact they are creating tobacco research centres is a good thing. It is rare to find an article currently that contains the words electronic cigarette and the acronym FDA that doesn’t have the FDA seeming to be the big baddies in the story.
By getting back to the point, let’s just think about that one fact for a minute that is truly shocking about this news. If things go ahead, you will not be able to visit Central Park any more and use an electronic cigarette. The vapour, the harmless vapour, that is omitted from your device is no longer going to be allowed in New York City. Dark days indeed.