The group Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, or CASAA, has leaked drafts of three tobacco-related bills that the New York City Council will soon vote on.
The bills redefine “tobacco products” to include e-cigarettes and its related components.
An e-cigarette is an electronic inhaler that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some e-cigarettes release nicotine while others just release flavored vapor. They are designed to mimic cigarettes in use and appearance.
If the New York City Council votes for these bills, retail stores would be banned from displaying e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, FoxNews.com.
The bills would allow tobacco and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes to be sold in retail stores, but all other e-cigarettes would only be available in “tobacco bars" opened before Dec. 31, 2001.
The bills would also raise the legal age for buying tobacco to 21, ban the display of cigarette advertising in stores and create a higher minimum price for cigarettes.
The CASAA claims that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful than regular cigarettes and have helped many people quit smoking.
According to a June 2013 report by the group Action on Smoking and Health, there is little real-world evidence that proves any health risks come from e-cigarettes.