Uh oh. New York judge rules that vaping is not the same thing as smoking

In many places around the country, nervous nanny-state advocates have been busily passing laws to stop people from using e-cigarettes in public as a way to quit smoking. This is particularly true in the Big Apple, where Mayor Bill de Blasio is working day and night to outnanny Michael Bloomberg as the king of nanny state politics. But when one New Yorker was given a citation for vaping in public, he decided to fight the ticket in court. In a terrible blow to the guardians of public propriety and social justice, a judge has declared that vaping and smoking are two different things and the law in question is now on the ropes. (Daily Caller)

A New York judge handed a victory to vapers Feb. 5, declaring vaping is not the same as smoking and e-cigarette use is not necessarily banned in all the same places as smoking.

“An electronic cigarette neither burns nor contains tobacco,” said the court. “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.”

The issue was brought to the court in the case of People v. Thomas, after vaper Shawn Thomas was issued a citation on the subway and subsequently challenged the citation in court.

People who support vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco products (and potentially as a path to get out of the habit entirely) may find reason to hope in this initial ruling but it’s important to note what this case actually represents. The judge wasn’t ruling on vaping as being “good or bad” for the consumer nor addressing any of the health and social issues involved. This was a strict interpretation of the law and a common sense ruling based on the wording. New York City bans smoking in many places, but they have a strict definition of what comprises “smoking” in public. This definition includes the wording, ““the burning of a lighted, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco.”

That’s pretty straight forward. E-cigarettes neither involve tobacco nor the “burning” of anything, so they don’t fit the definition under the law. Angry Democrats in the city and state legislature might be able to change that in short order, however. Churn Magazine, which covers the subject of vaping in depth, weighed in on the ruling but foresees the government moving quickly to restructure the rules.

Now that a judge has formally ruled that vaping does not equate to smoking, we will likely see a statewide scramble to redefine smoking or tack on additional language to smoking prohibitions to insure that vaping is also restricted. For now, we can all pause and celebrate this small victory from one New York judge that fortunately had enough common sense to stop this ridiculous charge in its tracks.

I won’t be shocked if they’re right on this score. There’s an inborn impulse among liberals to not only use the hammer of government to squash anything they don’t care for, but also anything that even resembles it. Liberals hate guns, but they also want to ban toy guns, antique guns or even children holding their fingers in the image of a gun. The same applies to smoking. Despite the many accounts of former smokers who gratefully describe how vaping saved their lives, it still looks like smoking, so it must be done away with. It remains to be seen how they will convince the legislatures and the courts that quickly dissipating water vapor with nicotine in it poses the same public health hazard as second hand smoke, but that generally doesn’t stop the progressive movement from trying.