ALBANY — New York’s drive against electronic cigarette use continued Tuesday as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a new law that bans e-cigarettes anywhere on school grounds.
The measure bans e-cigarettes in any building, structure, and outdoor grounds in public and private preschools and other schools through high school. The law also bans the use of e-cigarettes in any vehicle used to transport children or school personnel.
”School yards should be full of the laughter of healthy children, not e-cigarette vapor,” said Assemb. Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) who sponsored the bill with Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Watertown). “New York has taken the lead in protecting people against the dangers associated with e-cigarette use and exposure.”
The law seals a possible loophole in current law in which schools are “no tobacco zones.” Some e-cigarettes contain no tobacco and all emit vapor, rather than smoke as in traditional cigarettes.
Cuomo said the devices covered by the law — including vaping pens and e-hookahs — often contain nicotine.
“Nicotine use in any form has shown to be damaging to teens and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in New York schools,” Cuomo said. “This measure will further this administration’s efforts to combat teen smoking in all its forms.”
Two other bills sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) are awaiting Cuomo’s signature or veto after they passed the State Legislature this year.
One would ban e-cigarettes under the Clean Indoor Act, which prohibits tobacco smoking in most buildings open to the public.
The other would require all sellers of e-cigarettes to register with the state Department of Taxation and Finance, which would regulate sales.