ALBANY, N.Y. — Today, a “public hearing” on a number of bills relating to vaporizing products (such as electronic cigarettes) will be held before the New York State Senate Health Committee.
There is great debate in the scientific community about the risks and rewards of smokers switching to vaporizing products. One would expect that the speakers at such a “public hearing” would represent that diversity of voices. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
“This is not a public hearing – it is a dog and pony show where only handpicked lobbyists or government-funded officials are allowed to speak,” said Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association (AVA), remarking on a list of speakers released by Health Committee Chairman Senator Kemp Hannon at the close of business on Friday.
The AVA, a nonprofit association of vaporizing product manufacturers and retailers that seeks to provide legislators and the media with truthful information about these technological products, strongly opposes two bills sponsored by Senator Hannon that are receiving hearings today: (1) S.6939, which would ban the sale of liquid used in vaporizing products to adults; and (2) S.6562, which would deceptively redefine “smoking” under New York State law to include the “vaping” of a smoke-free electronic cigarette.
“The Senate Health Committee will hear from no one representing New York’s 100+ vapor product specialty stores,” said Conley. “The vast majority of these small businesses will be put out of business if Senator Hannon’s liquid ban becomes law. Don’t they deserve a voice?” he asked.
“Even worse, users of vaporizing products – the most important stakeholders in this debate – will also be voiceless at this hearing,” explained Conley. “If Senator Hannon wants to send vapers to the black market and force them into smoking areas, the least he could do is allow them the chance to speak their minds before their elected representatives,” he added.
“With less than two months left in the current legislative session, prohibitionist legislators are hard at work trying to ram through evidence-free bills that would negatively impact both public health and small businesses,” said Conley. “Indeed, Senator Hannon’s vaporizing product usage restriction bill is so extreme that it would even ban vaping in vapor product specialty stores, something that even former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not attempt to do when New York City tackled this issue.”
Conley added, “Enough is enough. New York legislators should reconsider their priorities and stop trying to make it even more difficult for adult smokers to get away from cigarettes.”
About the American Vaping Association
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and sensible regulation of vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximizing the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.