A smokers advocacy organization is suing New York City and the City Council to block a new law banning e-cigarettes from all the places where conventional cigarettes are banned under the Smoke-Free Air Act (SFAA), including bars, restaurants, offices and parks.
The group, Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH), contends in an action filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday that Local Law 152 violates the state constitution as well as the city charter.
CLASH argues that the SFAA was designed to protect the public from exposure to second-hand smoke and cannot be extended to cover electronic cigarettes which do not emit smoke. The suit, NYC CLASH v. City, maintains the legislation that Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed just before leaving office violates the “one subject rule,” which restricts legislation to a single topic, as expressed in its title.
“E-Cig regulation is completely unrelated to the subject of [environmental tobacco smoke] exposure, the core of the SFAA,” the plaintiffs said in a complaint filed by its attorney, Edward Paltzik of the Joshpe Law Group. “Local Law 152 is really about targeting personal behavior through regulation of a product rather than about protecting citizens from involuntary [environmental tobacco smoke].”
A spokesman for the city Law Department said “we will review the complaint when we are served.”