Now that the soda ban ruling has been kicked up to the state's highest court, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has something else in his crosshairs: Electronic cigarettes.
Bloomberg & Co. are working diligently to have e-cigs lumped together with tobacco and eventually banned. There are currently three tobacco-related bills being reviewed by city council. One would increase the age you're allowed to purchase tobacco to 21, another would outlaw cigarette ads in stores and the last is the most restrictive—it would create a $10.50 price floor for cigarettes, stop the use of tobacco coupons and bump up fines for the sale of illegal cigs.
While the Health Department said the drafts were originally written without electronic cigarettes in mind, the leaked versions apparently want to restrict e-cigarette use to tobacco bars. Gothamist says that city health officials offered only this vague statement on the inclusion of e-cigarettes in new tobacco-related legislature:
“We are currently working on several tobacco bills with the Council. As part of any legislative process, there are various drafts and versions before a bill becomes final."
So it sounds like they're trying to slide restrictions on electronic cigarettes into these new bills without people noticing. Now that a draft of these bills has leaked, people are noticing. What's next?