'Technical error' causes Legislature to delay action on e-cigarettes

Feb 12, 2015

An issue described as a technical error meant the Erie County Legislature could not vote Thursday on electronic cigarette regulations and has to go back through the entire process.

Lead sponsor Legislator Peter Savage says the local law on what is commonly called vaping was pulled at the last minute after one final legal scan found a problem which has to be resolved. Once a new version is put together with what is being called a slight wording change, the bill will go back through the public hearing process.

Credit File photo

Savage, a Buffalo Democrat, was not specific about what the problem was, although he says it will be obvious in the text of the new version.

"It was innocent. It's not a material issue but it's something that we feel should be addressed," said Savage. "There is support on both sides of the aisle. We decided, as a body, let's make the law as perfect as we can."

E-cigarette shop owners had turned out in large numbers for the public hearing and for the Legislature session, hoping to convince legislators to change their minds and oppose the measure. Advocate Paul Smith says they don't like being lumped in with the tobacco industry when it comes to regulations .

Buffalo Common Council members recently passed a similar law for the city, restricting vaping in places where traditional tobacco products are banned.