From Crain’s New York…
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]n industry that is expected to grow tenfold in the next several years, to $10 billion in U.S. retail sales, face a threat in New York. In late November, a month after banning the sale of the devices to people under 21, the City Council surprised the sector by introducing a bill that would treat electronic cigarettes like their tobacco counterparts, prohibiting use in restaurants, bars, workplaces and even parks.
“I can’t for the life of me understand how you can pass regulations without any sort of research behind them,” said David Schwartz, a lobbyist at the firm Gotham Government Relations, who recently founded a coalition called New Yorkers for Smarter Smoking Alternatives to fight the Bloomberg regulations. “They are looking to pass it before the next administration can look at the issue.”
Mr. Schwartz’s firm represents electronic cigarette company LOGIC, which is not affiliated with Big Tobacco, even though other companies pushing against the restrictions do have ties to tobacco firms. The Bloomberg administration and City Council effort came too quickly for the e-cigarette industry, restaurant and bar owners and others to effectively mobilize against it, he said.
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