new york city ecig ban

New York Smoking Rates Increase after E-Cig Ban


If you did not already know, New York recently would increase the tobacco restrictions back in April of this year. Even with overwhelming evidence New York lawmakers still insist on grouping electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product thus banning electronic cigarettes in most public places. This is in part of New York’s clean air act which is New York’s attempt of decreasing smoking rates among the public. However, it seems that smoking rates have actually increased!

Back in 2010 the documented smoking rate was 14%; a superb rate and lower than the Nation. However, according to the latest data, as of last year there were approximately a little over 16% adults smoked last year, a rise from the recorded value of 2010. So even with the increase restrictions and high taxes, New Yorkers are still finding tobacco to be a sought after commodity. Either that or more adults are switching back to smoking ever since the electronic cigarette ban. Considering smoking is more convenient in terms of not having to charge, take care of e-juice, and replacing coils, I can see how there is almost easier just to pick up a pack of cigarettes when there is almost no incentive to use electronic cigarettes.

Health officials, of course, continue to deny a link to the ban of electronic cigarettes but rather instead blame on cuts to anti-smoking programs statewide. They also blame it on the rise of young smokers and the current methodology of deterring smoking is outdated. So instead they want to dump more money into anti-smoking programs to counter the new rise of new smokers.

As a statistician, I can not for sure say that the rise in smokers is a direct result of the electronic cigarette ban. However, it does make me think of why there is a sudden rise of smoking in the last four years. Smoking being “cool” has been beaten to death in grade school. Most kids now know smoking kills and is not something they want to explore even. Furthermore, it’s not like kids can go out and buy a pack of cigarettes with ease at the convenient store either. Blaming the kids and young smokers just does not make sense anymore. Smokers who want to smoke know the risks and know the diseases associated with smoking. They either do not care or rather find that given their age it is too late for them. Why not instead target this demographic of current older smokers than the younger crowd. I understand this is a new tactic, but the old one is obviously not working.

My personal hope is to see everyone use e-cigs and what got me started was seeing a pack a day smokers make the switch with little effort. I believe by switching the older more stubborn generation of smokers, we’ll see a decline of smokers overall. The newer generation is more prone to change and adaptation of new technology.

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