Can E-Cigarettes Save New Yorkers’ Sanity Following Smoking Ban?

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As expected today, the New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to ban smoking in many outdoor spaces- making much of the city a smoke-free zone. As a lifelong New Yorker and smoker of nearly five years, I can personally attest to nicotine cravings induced by even a few minutes spent within the confines of the five boroughs. Any city smoker can tell you that the subways have a maddening habit of making rare appearances as you hover at the top of the stairs enjoying a quick smoke, and of course, smoking has been banned on platforms for some time. But in addition to all restaurants and bars and pretty much all indoor spaces- the UN being a notable exception, smoking will soon be banned in parks, beaches, marinas, on boardwalks and in pedestrian plazas including Times Square. You mean I can’t smoke to drive away the tourists anymore?

The law, which passed on a 36-12 vote, won’t go into effect until 90 days after it has been signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg. And with fines of $50 for violating the impending ban, it seems like an excellent time for many New Yorkers to switch over to e-cigarettes as an attractive solution to the sweeping legislation that outlaws smoking in many of the city’s most traversed spots. E-cigarettes, unlike analogs, don’t output any secondhand smoke- relying on a water vapor to deliver nicotine as efficiently as their expensive, soon-to-be-banned counterparts. And while you can’t smoke cigarettes while waiting for subways, you can use your e-cig both on the platform and even on subway trains, ensuring that even in the presence of delays, you won’t be stuck jonesing for a smoke break.

When the legislation was introduced, Speaker Christine Quinn remarked:

“When this legislation is passed, all New Yorkers will be able to enjoy a walk in the park or a day at the beach without having to inhale secondhand smoke. This bill will save lives and make New York City a healthier place to live.”

However, the legislation is not set to make outdoor activities as enjoyable for smokers, a prime reason e-cigarettes make an excellent alternative not only to analog cigarettes, but also smoking cessation products such as gum or a patch. Nicotine addiction is broken relatively quickly, but the reason smoking recidivism is so high is that former smokers miss the aesthetic pleasure of smoking and the basic act- both things preserved when using an e-cigarette.

A move by City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. to enable compromise legislation and allow areas of parks and beaches to be designated for smokers was stricken down, leaving e-cigarettes as the most viable solution for city smokers. Are you considering getting a e-cigarette ahead of the outside smoking ban in New York City? One model perfect for city smokers is the V2 Cigs e-cigarette, which has an optional lanyard accessory.

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