Electronic ciggies to be banned

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PEOPLE trying to give up smoking by puffing on e-cigarettes are the latest to be targeted in New York.

The city is planning to classify electronic smokes in the same restrictive category as regular cigarettes, which would make them off-limits everywhere from offices to restaurants to beaches.

“They may introduce a new generation to nicotine addiction, which could lead to their smoking combustion cigarettes,” Dr. Tom Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said in justifying the move.

A hearing before the City Council’s Health Committee is scheduled Wednesday, less than a month before the end of the Bloomberg administration.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered and allow users to inhale vaporized liquid nicotine without the smell of tobacco.

Defenders say they give tobacco addicts a chance to transition from more harmful tobacco smoke.

But council supporters, including outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn, say the city has to regulate e-cigarettes because their use has exploded among kids.

The electronic devices were being used by nearly twice as many middle- and high-school students in 2012 than in 2011, backers of the council legislation said.

They also argued it’s hard to distinguish between the real thing and the electronic substitutes for enforcement purposes.

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