Brooklyn Law Review


On April 29, 2014, New York City passed Local Law 152, which amended the city’s existing antismoking legislation to require users of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to abide by the same restrictions as traditional cigarette smokers. This note focuses on New York City’s legislation as a useful study on the effective regulation of e-cigarettes within a context of the devices’ uncertain health implications and the complex social dynamics regarding their use. It proposes that if the courts ultimately find Local Law 152 invalid, the New York City Council should fold e-cigarette products and usage within the current legislative definitions of “tobacco product” and “smoking.” This approach would minimize the harm to New Yorkers from the proliferation of e-cigarettes while also serving as a useful framework for other government bodies seeking to regulate e- cigarette use.