New York State votes to include vaping in the Clean Indoor Air Act
The New York State Legislature voted to include vaping in the Clean Indoor Air Act, and we expect it will be signed by the governor shortly. The NYSVA worked hard this session. In more than 100 meetings we had in Albany this spring, we expressed over and over again that vaping is NOT smoking, and should be defined differently. We sent numerous Calls to Action to get our industry involved in fighting this, and worked with our friends at CASAA to get the word out to consumers.
In the end, in discussions with senior legislators and their counsel, they are understanding that science is starting to catch up, and they recognize that having vaping separated from the definition of smoking in this bill would leave the door open for amendments to this bill. They amended the bill to change the definition to distinguish a clear and legal difference between vaping and smoking.
The separation of language between vaping and smoking is one of the first ever of its kind in the country. The initial language would have simply added vapor products to the states definition of "smoking". This move also sets a precedent for future legislation so that vaping can no longer be "lumped" in to other restrictive tobacco bills in New York state and must be treated separately.
After months of presenting study after study in Albany, many legislators and state officials are recognizing that science is dispelling some of the myths against vaping that they had been made to believe.
Some other changes in the final bill include:
• A carve-out vaping in retail shops that sell at least 75% vapor products
• A carve-out for vaping in single and set-aside rooms in nursing homes, mental health centers and rehabs
• Out-door seating in restaurants, hotel and motel rooms (with caveats)
• Waivers for private and industry events, provided it's licensed and promoted before hand
• The police cannot arrest, ticket, stop, or question any person based on hearsay of another, nor is vaping a cause to be searched.
This spring, all of the language in the Governor's budget was removed -- which would have enacted high taxes and fines on people transporting 100ml or more, 21+ age to vape and a much harsher Clean Indoor Air Act with no carve out for vape shops.
The Clean Indoor Air Act is not perfect, but these amendments were added to possibly allow changes in the future. So we live to fight another day.
If you own a vapor business in NY, or have a business that relies on NY for a chunk of business, please consider donating or joining NYSVA. This is a long game that must be played right. We need your support to do so!
Updated: NYSVA Advises Businesses and Consumers to Setup Friendly Meetings
VAPE SHOP OWNERS AND CONSUMERS,
As you probably have heard, the 2017 NYS Budget was signed and ALL of the vapor language was removed. This effectively killed the tax, indoor clear air act, and all other vapor regulations that were included in the 2017 budget. The NYSVA would like to thank our member businesses, generous donors, and everyone who made calls and sent emails expressing concerns over these harsh regulations. We feel that this was only possible due to the diligent work of the NYSVA, coupled with YOUR support!
BUT THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER! After the budget bill passed, there were 24 stand-alone bills on the table to regulate vapor products, and many of these would decimate the entire vaping industry in New York State. Many of the budget proposals will come right back in the form of a stand-alone bill (ex. tax) and some bills are even WORSE than the regulations that were removed from the budget (ex. ban the sale of bottled eliquid). We expect many of these bills and some new ones will be introduced in January 2018 and we will be fighting them throughout the session.
NYS Senators and Assembly members are currently home in their districts through the holidays. Now is the time to establish the relationships that we will need to ensure that NYS vapor regulations are reasonable and fair to consumers and businesses. Take some time in the next few weeks and setup meetings with your State Senator and Assembly Representatives. If you need to find your senator and assembly rep, you can text your ZIP CODE to (520) 216-5373 and you will instantly get a text with your representatives' names and phones numbers. Scroll to the bottom for your State Senator and Assembly member. It says State Rep. for Assembly.
These meetings are critical to show our elected officials who we are and WHY WE VAPE. If you own a business, this is especially important. Below are some talking points, but please reach out to the NYSVA if you need assistance with meetings or letters to your representatives. (Keep in mind, you may have different senators and reps for your shop and home. If this is the case, meet with EVERYONE you possibly can)
Tell your story: How long you smoked, how long since you quit smoking. If you own a business, tell them about how and why you started the business. Tell them how many smokers you've helped to make the switch.
Tell them that you: Support sensible regulation but you do not support putting New York's 600 vape shops out of business and their 2200 employees out of work, similar to Pennsylvania where one-third of the businesses closed after a 40% wholesale tax.
MOST IMPORTANT, ask them to reach out to you before making a decision that will affect your business or your health. Let them know that the NYSVA is representing the entire industry in New York State and that we can provide them with any science or data that may assist them in making the right decision on vapor products.