e-cigarette Credit: Getty Images

A proposal to ban electronic cigarette sales in New York cleared its first hurdle Tuesday, when the state Assembly Health Committee voted 21-4 in favor of the bill.

Now it moves on to the Assembly Codes Committee, although it was unclear Tuesday when it would be taken up. The full Assembly and the State Senate would also have to approve the measure for it to become law.

E-cigarettes are considered an alternative to traditional cigarettes and use a battery to trigger the nicotine sensation, emitting vapor instead of smoke.

Some consider it a smoking-cessation device, although the FDA can only regulate it as a tobacco product.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), who introduced the bill, said she wants the product pulled from stores until the FDA approves them for smoking cessation or medical purposes.

Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R-Big Flats) said he voted against the bill in the Health Committee because he supports any form of smoking cessation, “whether this has been approved by the FDA or not.”

He said he would consider drafting a similar bill that bans e-cig sales to minors only.

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