New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Monday that prohibits vaping in all public places, or anywhere cigarette smoking is not allowed. The bill is aimed at sealing loopholes that appeared after New York enacted the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2013.

In the original Act, smoking of tobacco products was banned in indoor areas in New York, which included bars, workplaces, and restaurants. The 2013 Act, however, did not include vaping, or e-cigarettes, as they are commonly known.

According to The New York Times, New York is the only state that has come down hard on conventional cigarettes and e-cig smoking in public places and the only State that has a legislation to that effect.

Healthier alternative

E-cigs have been marketed as a healthier alternative to conventional tobacco smoking, but there have been no extensive scientific studies to back that theory.

Vaping has gained popularity over the years and is now estimated to be a $2.5 billion industry, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead of tobacco, e-cigs use a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled.

According to information from the US Surgeon's office, e-cigs are not as harmless as most people perceive them to be, as there is the risk of nicotine addiction. Also, the liquid used has chemicals that can cause serious damage to the lungs of the user and those around them.

Protecting the public

In a statement released after signing the bill into law, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said e-cigs carried long-term health risks to users and those around them, and the law would create a safer and healthier environment for all New Yorkers.

The Executive Vice-president of the American Lung Association, Jeff Syler, concurred with the Governor and added that the law not only protected the public's exposure to harmful smoke but also children who would be tempted to experiment with e-cigs, leading to a lifetime of nicotine addiction.

E-cig manufacturers have not taken ban lying down, and insist vaping is a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes and actually, help tobacco smokers kick the habit.

Several lawsuits have been filed by the vaping industry hoping to reverse the ban, with little success. The latest attempt was sometime this year, but the New York State Court of Appeal threw out the case, ruling that the law on the ban of e-cigs, was valid.

California and Utah, also have pending bills aimed at banning tobacco and e-cigs smoking in public. New York's ban will take effect after 30 days, from the day of signing.