Proposed Tompkins County smoking prevention law to include e-cigarettes

Users under the age of 21 won't be able to purchase

Tompkins County, NY (WSYR-TV) - In Tompkins County, not everyone is happy with a proposed law that  would prohibit selling tobacco products to people 21 and under as that plan also includes e-cigarettes.

Traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes have been lumped together since a court ruling in 2010 put both under a "tobacco product" umbrella. But those who use them say that's not fair.

"The government has grouped us together, so now when they're going after big tobacco they're going after us as well," said Michael Frennier, General Manager, Unique eCigs.

Former smokers now relying on e-cigarettes say "e-liquid" comes in a variety of strengths, making it easier to wean themselves off traditional cigarettes.

The Heartland Institute says the number of smokers choosing to vape went down 29 percent, while the number of former smokers choosing vaping instead rose by more than 26 percent.

"They started at a level to satisfy their urge, but have continually cut down on their nicotine level to zero, and many have even stopped vaping," said Frennier.

But the American Lung Association says there isn't any proof; if manufacturers want to claim e-cigarettes help stop smoking that must be proved through multiple clinical trials. But the New York Vapor Association says the proof is in the numbers.

Tompkins County lawmakers will have to decide in less than two weeks, if those under the age of 21 should be allowed to purchase or sell tobacco products.

The proposed law will still allow those under the age of 21 to carry tobacco products, they would just be kept from purchasing and selling.


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