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Albany County Executive Order Bans E-Cigarette Use on County Property

February 06, 2014

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today announced an Executive Order banning the use of e-cigarettes on county property. This includes all county buildings and facilities.

The County Executive was joined at a news conference attended by the American Lung Association, the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition and Albany County Legislators Norma Chapman, Marylou Connolly, Gary Domalewicz, Tim Nichols and Merton Simpson. McCoy said the order was necessary because of the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, which are electronic devices that provide a vapor of nicotine and other substances which the user inhales to simulate smoking. Companies selling the product have offered e-cigarettes as a more socially acceptable way to use tobacco. They are not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and some preliminary testing has indicated that e-cigarettes may produce toxic chemicals.

There are some who contend that e-cigarettes can be utilized for therapeutic purposes or as part of a smoking cessation program. However, there are currently no e-cigarettes currently approved by the FDA for that purpose. Because they do not contain tobacco, e-cigarettes are not subject to tobacco laws and can be purchased without proof of age. In fact, some traditional tobacco companies have purchased e-cigarette companies as a way to break into the marketplace.        

“We are responsible to the people of the county and to protect their safety and welfare,” said McCoy. “Albany County is taking the initiative now to ban e-cigarettes because it is the right thing to do. We are taking the lead on this to protect county employees and the public. We have to protect kids from e-cigarettes and this is just the beginning.”

“The American Lung Association is grateful that Albany County residents will not be exposed to potentially unsafe secondhand emissions from electronic cigarettes when visiting county-owned buildings," said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast. "This is a commonsense step forward to protect the health of county residents; we applaud County Executive McCoy for putting public health first."

“There is great potential for population harm from electronic cigarettes,” said Judy Rightmyer, Director, Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition. “We know that any products designed to deliver more than trace amounts of nicotine can lead to addiction.  E-cigarettes can serve as a gateway for youth to become addicted to nicotine and then graduate to regular cigarette use. We don’t want need to introduce a new generation of smokers to tobacco-related disease and a premature death.”

Executive Order - E-cigarettes

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy