This evening, the New York State Senate voted to include vaping in the Clean Indoor Air Act immediately after the Assembly had revised their version which had passed earlier this month and we expect it will be signed by the governor shortly. This was very unusual. The NYSVA worked hard this session and 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 purposely separated the definition to allow change in the future. The ALA and other antz-groups were NOT happy at all.
The separation of language between vaping and smoking is one of the first ever of its kind in the country. 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 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.
It should also be noted, that as we're at the 2 days of the legislative session, this is the only bill that advanced this year. There were 28 total stand-alone bills, including the 21+ Age to Vape. We have to warn you, however that 21+ bills are being introduced in county legislation and we will have to work hard all summer to beat those back throughout the state. 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 as a handshake to discuss 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!