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Letter: Governor, Legislature Pick Tobacco Industry Over Our Health

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OSSINING, N.Y. -- Ossining Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email ossining@dailyvoice.com.

To the Editor:

As a mom and cancer survivor, I’m a firm believer in the power of healthy lifestyles and environments. That is why I am so appalled about the final New York State budget agreement that omitted an important provision about e-cigarettes. The New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo took the side of the tobacco industry over our health.

New York State was on its way to becoming the 11th state to expand Clean Indoor Air protections to e-cigarettes. The proposal simply would have closed a loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in areas where smoking is prohibited. Yet because of the tobacco lobbyists in Albany, the proposal was mysteriously dropped from the budget. This seems implausible given that the Governor, State Senate and Assembly all had previously agreed to this health protection earlier. It shows that Big Tobacco is alive and well in New York.

I’m sure other moms in the state feel the same way - I do not want my kids breathing the chemicals found in the e-cigarette aerosol. According to the CDC, e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless water vapor. In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette aerosol can contain heavy metals, ultrafine particulates that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, and cancer-causing agents like acrolein. The Westchester County Legislature recognized this and enacted this protection for us in Westchester County; we deserve these same protections in the rest of the state.

How can Governor Cuomo and state lawmaker put the interests of e-cigarette companies before the health of our kids and communities? I’ll be contacting my representatives, Senator Murphy and Assemblyman Buchwald, to tell them to stand up to e-cigarette companies and close the e-cigarette loophole. I hope others do the same.

Sincerely,

Marcia Earle

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