In the recent weeks several health experts had been speaking up against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to ban vaping in certain public spaces. The ban had gained bipartisan traction in addition to a proposed 10-cents-per-milliliter tax on e-liquid as part of the state’s $163 billion budget.
However, much to everyone’s surprise, the budget passed last Sunday, with all provisions pertaining to vaping removed. And although many were against these proposed measures from a public health standpoint, and others from a financial one, what ultimately drove the lawmakers to scrap the proposal remains unknown.
“We’re very pleased,” said Andrew Osborne, vice president of the New York Vapor Association, according to an article on The Daily Caller. “We’re happy to see New York take a step back from these aggressive regulations that would have essentially decimated the entire industry in the Empire State.” he added.
A first step in the right direction?
Many public health experts have been fighting for such an outcome, citing evidence released by Public Health England suggesting that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. Additionally, last month, Healthcare providers from New York City replied to a Health Commissioner’s request to discourage e-cig use for smoking cessation, calling it “harmful to the cause of public health.”
Many have been questioning why the US has taken such as a harsh stance against the effective smoking cessation products, instead of adopting a harm reduction approach. The UK which has taken such an approach, is successfully reporting the lowest number of smokers ever recorded as a result. The aforementioned events may be the first step towards a similar direction for the US.