WHITE PLAINS – Electronic cigarettes will now be banned along with regular buts as part of Westchester County’s smoke-free work site laws. The Board of Legislators adopted the amended law on Monday.
The county’s smoke-free workplace law prohibits smoking in dining areas of all restaurants including bars and bar areas.
The original law, passed in 2003, was intended to safeguard non-smokers from the negative impacts of secondhand smoke.
“Studies have shown that the chemicals in the vapors released from electronic cigarettes have some negative side effects on those in surrounding areas of their users,” said Legislator Catherine Borgia, who sponsored the legislation. “By reducing the amount of exposure that young people have to these vapors, they will not feel intrigued by a familiar, pleasant scent and look to start using themselves.” She noted that nicotine is a highly addictive substance and the younger a person is when they begin to use nicotine, the harder the addiction is to break.
The law does not prohibit adults from using e-cigarettes, “however, people working in the next cubicle, or eating at a restaurant next to a person using an electronic cigarette, or workers in food establishments should not be exposed to the potentially dangerous products being emitted from these devices,” Borgia said.
The legislation, which will go into effect immediately, will be enforced by the county’s health department.