A New York Court Has Ruled That Vaping Is Not Smoking

A New York Judge Has Ruled Vaping Is Not Smoking


In the state of New York a judge has ruled that vaping is not the same thing as smoking and the two words cannot be utilized interchangeably. Though New York already has a ban in place that disallows people from smoking in public places, the judge noted that the law does not automatically place vaping under that ban.

This ruling came about in an interesting situation where a man had been cited for using his device while waiting for his train on a New York subway platform. Two officers approached the man and issued him a ticket for using his device in public. He challenged the ticket in court.

In the case, “People vs. Thomas”, the judge noted that New York’s current law defines smoking as “the burning of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco”.  But the law’s definition does not include vapor devices.

“An electronic cigarette neither burns nor contains tobacco,” the judge said. “Instead, the use of such a device, which is commonly referred to as ‘vaping’, involves the inhalation of vaporized e-cigarette liquid consisting of water, nicotine, a base of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin and occasionally, flavoring.”

During the trial the state tried to argue that vaping devices should automatically be lumped in with tobacco products in public smoking bans just because, “the courts of New York have yet to make a determination as to whether electronic cigarettes are to be viewed any differently under these sections than tobacco cigarettes.”

But the judge wholly disagreed stating that the state’s argument was invalid. Due to the simple fact that e-cigarettes do not fall under the state’s current definition of “smoking” and cannot be treated like tobacco cigarettes if they do not actually contain any tobacco and do not involve any burning.

For New York City however, “vaping” has already been included in the city’s Smoke Free Air Act and after a case like this we are sure to see the rest of the state to follow suit with their own rulings to include vaping in their public smoking ban.

But for now, let’s take a moment to revel in this small triumph for vapers, where a judge in New York used his common sense to make the correct ruling in favor of the vaping world.