North Country Sen. Ritchie-sponsored ban of e-cigarettes on school grounds clears Senate
State Sen. Patty Ritchie R-Heuvelton says legislation she sponsored has unanimously passed the Senate that would “protect the health of students across the state” by prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes on school property and school buses.
Ritchie represents the 48th Senate District, which includes all of the northern edge of St. Lawrence County from Massena to Hammond, and Ogdensburg, Canton and Gouverneur. It extends into Jefferson and Oswego counties.Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as “e-cigarettes,” are becoming increasingly popular among young people, Ritchie says. While tobacco use is banned on school grounds, current law does not prohibit e-cigarettes—which are not regulated by the FDA and as such are not subject to tobacco law—on school property. Under the measure, S. 4188-C, the use of e-cigarettes on school property, as well as on school buses would be prohibited.
E-cigarettes are not permitted to be sold to minors and many districts have taken steps on their own to prohibit their use on school grounds. Meanwhile, studies have shown that an increasing number of young people are using the devices. A recent study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), e-cigarette use among teens has gone up 800 percent since 2011, Ritchie claims.
The measure was sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.