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New York : Laws and Regulations Summary

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Past LawsPending LawsCurrent LawsOur view

Past laws

AB 1496 (Stagnant in Committee)

  • Prohibits vaporization of nicotine in certain areas
  • Raises smoking age to 21 (Already 21 in NYC)

AB 635 (Stagnant in Committee)

  • Prohibits the sale of any quantity of e-liquid that is sold for use in electronic cigarettes

AB 2595 (Stagnant in Committee)

  • Makes restrictions to smoking in public areas applicable to electronic cigarettes

Pending laws

SB 2202 (In Committee)

  • Defines usage of electronic cigarette as smoking
  • Would ban usage of electronic cigarette where smoking is banned

AB 5955 (Ordered to third reading)

  • Would redefine electronic cigarettes to include them in state smoking ban

AB 296 (In Committee)

  • Taxation of electronic cigarette Cartridges
  • Redefines electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, subjecting them to the 75% wholesale tax on “tobacco products”

SB 722 (In Committee)

  • Taxation of electronic cigarette Cartridges
  • Redefines electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, subjecting them to the 75% wholesale tax on “tobacco products”

Current laws

County by County Regulation

  • New York City prohibits sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes to anyone under 21 years of age. Usage of electronic cigarettes is banned in bars, restaurants and some workplaces in Tompkins, Suffolk, Westchester and Cattaraugus Counties.

Our view

New York legislators have been heavily focused on redefining and reclassifying electronic cigarettes into the same category as traditional tobacco products. It appears that they have two main legislative goals, restrictions on vaping in public and collecting tax revenue that would come with such reclassification. If electronic cigarettes are reclassified as tobacco products in New York they will be subject to the same 75% wholesale tax that is placed on tobacco products. Recently a New York court ruled that vaping is not smoking by definition, stating “An electronic cigarette neither burns nor contains tobacco” and New York law defines smoking as “the burning of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco.” This formal ruling will likely encourage the legislative bodies to move more swiftly to reclassify electronic cigarettes in order to properly enforce public vaping bans.