New York Senator Proposes Legislation to Ban Disposable E-Cigarettes
New York State Senator Nathalia Fernandez has introduced a legislative proposal (S.7771) to ban disposable e-cigarettes due to environmental concerns and public health risks, as reported by the Observer.
The disposable e-cigarette is a compact, battery-powered device that delivers nicotine vapor in various flavors, and while they do not contain tobacco, many products still contain nicotine and cannot be recharged or reused. The small disposable lithium batteries in these devices are often discarded in landfills, which is a key issue addressed in the proposed legislation.
Senator Fernandez argues that the widespread use of e-cigarettes poses harm to public health and is extremely detrimental to the environment. She points out that there are already countless rechargeable devices available in the market, making it unnecessary to further pollute the environment with disposable products.
The proposal also cites a report from the United States Fire Administration in 2017, documenting nearly 200 incidents of e-cigarette explosions occurring between 2009 and 2016. Additionally, the 2022 Youth Tobacco Survey found that disposable e-cigarettes continue to be the most popular choice among young people, with 85% of e-cigarette users opting for flavored products.
Furthermore, the environmental impact is significant, as the use of e-cigarettes results in an increasing amount of waste. The plastic devices will never fully degrade and can be found littering beaches around the world, polluting public spaces. A report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund estimated that 4.5 disposable e-cigarettes are discarded every second in the United States.
Marion Catellin, chairperson of the Anti-Smoking Alliance, highlighted that disposable e-cigarettes are made of plastic and contain a lithium battery and other heavy metals, including cobalt and bromine. These pods contain highly toxic nicotine and should be banned considering their impact on the environment.
Several other countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany, are considering adopting similar measures, while New Zealand and Australia have already implemented restrictions. New Zealand’s measures include mandatory reduction of nicotine levels and restrictions on the location of e-cigarette stores near schools.
The proposal to ban disposable e-cigarettes in New York is a significant step towards addressing both public health concerns and environmental impact.