New Yorkers who’ve latched on to electronic cigarettes to get their nicotine fix at the local bar had their hopes snuffed out Thursday as the New York City Council overwhelmingly voted to add the smokeless smokes to the city’s ban on smoking in public places.

Even though the electronic cigarettes don’t produce secondhand smoke, the council voted 43 8 to ban the use of e cigarettes in restaurants, bars, city parks and any other places where smoking is already outlawed.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg who’s advocated, not always successfully, for a number of public health initiatives, like bans on plastic foam containers and sodas larger than 16 ounces is expected to sign the measure as one of his last actions in office, NBC New York reported.

If he does sign it, the ban would take effect in about four months.

Council President Christine Quinn said banning e cigarettes would make it easier to enforce the city’s ban on real smoking. Because they’re designed to look like real cigarettes, it can be tough for law enforcement officers, business owners and club bouncers to tell who’s really smoking and who’s only “vaping.”

Scientists generally agree that e cigarettes are less dangerous than real cigarettes, and researchers reported in September in the British medical journal The Lancet that they work about as well as nicotine patches in helping smokers quit.

They’re still highly addictive, however, and Quinn said OK’ing them could create new customers for tobacco products and undercut the message that smoking is something you should do only at home.

“We don’t want a step backward with that,” she said.

But Miguel Martin, president of Logic Technology Development, the nation’s third largest e cigarette manufacturer, argued that e cigarettes weren’t a gateway to real tobacco.

“That’s a non issue,” Martin told CNBC on Thursday. “The data indicates that about 99 percent of the vast amount of users of electronic cigarettes are already smokers.”

“We’re disappointed in the City Council’s position,” he said.

Most major U.S. cities have already banned smoking in indoors public places, in step with decades of evidence that tobacco is the leading preventable cause of dis ease, dis ability and death in the U.S.

Only a few places among them New Jersey, Arkansas, Utah and North Dakota, according to The Associated Press have included e cigarettes in their bans. But other major cities had been watching New York and were considering similar proposals, including Los Angeles and Chicago.

The City Council passed the measure in a flurry of activity during its final session of the year Thursday. It also endorsed Bloomberg’s call to phase in a ban on plastic foam food containers and passed a bill to set up a website to help people track how federal money is being spent on cleaning up after Superstorm Sandy.


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and trademarking potential brand names such as “Panama Red” and “Acapulco Gold.” Such rumors were nothing more than the product of fanciful imagination and wishful thinking, but now that state of Colorado has legalized marijuana use, and more states are sure to follow, those claims no longer sound quite so far fetched.

Those rumors of old were played upon in a 21 January 2014 article from Abril Uno positing that tobacco giant Phillip Morris had announced the company would be entering the marijuana cigarette market with a brand called “Marlboro M” Phillip Morris, the world’s biggest cigarette producer, announced today that they will join the marijuana legalization bandwagon and start producing marijuana cigarettes. To be marketed under the brand “Marlboro M”, it will be made available for sale through marijuana licensed outlets in the state of Colorado, and Washington when it becomes commercially legal later this year.

Serafin Norcik, Phillip Morris’ Sr. Vice President for Marketing said in an interview that the company has been high on the idea of marketing cannabis, and has been monitoring the market for some time. It was only when the recent legalization initiatives winning in Colorado and Washington that they finally made the decision to take a leap of faith. By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media and re posted on other web sites, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, this article was just a spoof from the Abril Uno web site, whose name translates as “April One” (i.e., April Fool’s Day). Disclaimers on the web site’s pages notes that Abril Uno is a satire, parody and spoof web publication. Abril Uno uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases where public figures or companies are being satirized, parodied or spoofed. Any resemblance to the truth, actual events, actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and is intended purely as a satire, parody or spoof. All articles contained herein are fiction (“fake”), untrue, and for entertainment only. Last updated 23 January 2014

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