The New York legislature is debating a statewide ban on e-cigarettes, the Associated Press reports. Health advocates point to the addictiveness of electronic cigarettes as part of the reason such a ban would be appropriate.
“I got interested in this because I saw all these ads for e-cigarettes, so I did some research,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal. “I found what is in the e-cigarettes is a mystery.”
Rosenthal’s bill would ban e-cigs in the state until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can look into and regulate the battery-powered devices. The Assembly Health Committee will first vote on the bill before the rest of the Assembly.
Last year, her bill made it past the Assembly but halted in the Senate, which then had a Democrat majority. This year, Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon said his committee will look at the bill and may hold a hearing, but that right now, it was too early to predict the proposal’s chances for passage.
In December, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the FDA couldn’t regulate e-cigs as a drug. However, the agency can still regulate the device as a tobacco product. Last September, the agency warned five distributors of electronic cigarettes to stop using language that claims their products help reduce or stop smoking.