NYSVA's New York Minute...
Two weeks before the close of session, NYSVA's lobbyist got a call from the sponsor of the Clean Indoor Air Act. He explained that he had agreed to a major amendment to the CIAA -- vaping was no longer defined as smoking. This was very unusual and truly welcome. In more than 100 meetings we had in Albany this spring, we expressed over and over again that vaping is NOT smoking, and should be defined differently!
This proved that they are understanding that science is starting to catch up, and they recognize that having vaping separated from the definition of smoking in this bill would not only set a precedent for future bills so that vaping can no longer be 'lumped' in to other restrictive tobacco bills in New York state, but also leave the door open for amendments to CIAA. They purposely separated the definition to allow change in the future.
The ALA and other anti-vaping groups were NOT happy at all. The separation of language between vaping and smoking is one of the first ever of its kind in the country. After months of presenting study after study in Albany, many legislators and state officials are recognizing that science is dispelling some of the myths against vaping that they had been made to believe.
Some other changes in the final bill include:
• A carve-out vaping in retail shops that sell at least 75% vapor products
• A carve-out for single and set-aside rooms in nursing homes, mental health centers and rehabs
• Out-door seating in restaurants, hotel and motel rooms (with caveats)
• Waivers for private and industry events, provided it's licensed and promoted before hand
• The police cannot arrest, ticket, stop, or question any person based on hearsay of another, nor is vaping a cause to be searched.
As the NYSVA stated on their Facebook <link to: https://www.facebook.com/NYSVaporAssociation/> post: "The Clean Indoor Air Act is not perfect, but these amendments were added as a handshake to discuss changes in the future. So we live to fight another day."