While we have been closely following the progress of the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) federal e-cig regulations, we have also kept our readers up to date with state-specific e-cig regulations. The most recent news comes from New York City, which may soon be highly regulating or even banning flavored e-cigs throughout much of the City.
New York State Proposed E-Cig Regulations
In a previous post, we detailed a new bill that was introduced in New York, proposing to amend the tax definition of ‘tobacco products’ to include all new and novel products “containing tobacco or nicotine that [are] intended or expected to be consumed.” While e-cigs are not specifically identified within the bill, a strict reading of the expansive definition of “tobacco products” would arguably include e-cigs, which contain nicotine and are intended to be consumed.
New York City Proposed E-Cig Ban
It now appears that the City of New York is considering a ban on flavored e-cigs within City limits. In a proposed update to a New York City Department of Health Ordinance introduced last week, the definition of ‘tobacco products’ will explicitly include e-cigs and related accessories. The inclusion of e-cigs within the definition of ‘tobacco products’ will necessarily result in e-cigs being restricted from being displayed in retail stores throughout the City of New York. The proposed ordinance goes even further though and places an outright ban on the sale of e-cigs that come in flavors other than tobacco, menthol, mint and wintergreen, unless sold in a “tobacco bar,” of which there are a very limited number.
According to the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, the next meeting of the Department of Health Committee is scheduled for August 22, 2013, but it is unknown whether it will vote on the Ordinance in question. Given the gravity of the proposed New York City Ordinance, we will be sure to follow its progress and provide detailed updates on this blog.
The development of federal and state electronic cigarette regulations should be of interest to anyone involved in the e-cigarette industry and those interested in product marketing in general.