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    Senator Owen H. Johnson sponsored a bill that was recently signed into law protecting New York’s children and teenagers from the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes.  The new law (S.2926-B) prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes (often known as “e-cigarettes”) to anyone under the age of 18 years.

    Senator Owen Johnson said, "I am thrilled that Governor Cuomo has signed this bill into law. Unlike other nicotine-containing products, e-cigarettes are not currently regulated and, as such, children are legally able to purchase these devices and consume nicotine, an addictive chemical. In fact, the idea for this bill came to me from school officials in my District. This is common sense legislation that keeps an addictive chemical away from children and adolescents, while at the same time preserving the rights of adults to make their own informed decisions about whether to use these products and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing it into law."

    E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale a vaporized liquid nicotine solution instead of tobacco smoke.  E-cigarettes could serve as a pathway to nicotine addiction for children, leading them to smoke cigarettes and use other tobacco products.

    Moreover, e-cigarette refill cartridges, often sold without protective packaging, contain high concentrations of nicotine which could be fatal if accidentally ingested by young children. In addition, the FDA has warned that e-cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans or that may otherwise be unsafe.

    The new law prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to individuals who are less than 18 years of age. The bill passed the Assembly and Senate unanimously, and the new law takes effect on January 1, 2013.