Legislature approves restrictions on e-cigarettes

Feb 27, 2015

County legislators voted Thursday to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public places.

All but one member of the Erie County Legislature voted to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in public places.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Those who use electronic cigarettes are often referred to as "vapers," a mix of people trying to quit smoking and people who want to puff on something and choose to "vape."

Legislators voted Thursday to restrict them in the same way tobacco smokers are restricted and sent the local law on to County Executive Poloncarz for his action. That could include yet another public hearing.

Supporters of vaping far outnumbered opponents during the two legislative public hearings. Legislator Peter Savage sponsored the control and says it's a major public health measure.
              
"This is not a ban. It's been confused in the public as an outright ban. It's a reasonable restriction," Savage said.

"It restricts the use in indoor public places only and it does so, to give members of the public not only a right to clean air but a basic common courtesy. Those who use these products to quit smoking, we welcome that, we encourage that."

Savage says vapers shouldn't be puffing around people who don't.

Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo was the only "no" vote, saying it's just another example of over-regulation in government. He told the legislative session he has never smoked anything and opposes tobacco use but opposes regulations.