News vaping in car

Published on March 23rd, 2014 | by Jimmy Hafrey

New York Man Earns Traffic Ticket for Vaping Behind the Wheel

We all know that it’s dangerous to text while driving, but have you ever thought about the consequences of vaping behind the wheel? While puffing on an ecig in the car might not seem like a big deal, it turns out that could earn you a traffic ticket if you live in New York. This week, Jason Dewing was vaping on the road when he looked up to see blue lights in the rearview mirror. He pulled over, assuming he had unknowingly violated a traffic rule. It turns out that his only mistake was holding an e-cigarette behind the wheel.

Dewing was awarded a traffic violation and the officer explained that under Article 33, Section 1225-D, it is illegal to operate mobile phones and “portable electronic devices” while driving a vehicle. The law specifies that portable electronic devices include “hand-held mobile telephone, personal digital assistant, handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband person communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.” While electronic cigarettes are not officially included by name, the police officer justified the traffic citation because e-cigs are portable and electronically powered.

Although Dewing was penalized for vaping, there is no law against smoking while driving. Any smoker knows that lighting up a cigarette and worrying about flicking away the ashes is way more distracting that simply puffing on an electronic cigarette, which requires no flame and produces no smoke or ash. Plus, when you are finished vaping, you simply put the e-cig back in your pocket or lay it down on the seat beside you. If you are smoking an analog cigarette, you have to extinguish the flame and most of the time, that means you toss it out the window into oncoming traffic. Not only does smoking create litter, but it can also create a hazard for cars or motorcycles behind the car where someone is smoking.

Ultimately, a judge will have to decide if Dewing actually violated the law by using an electronic cigarette. This could be a monumental case that could set a precedent for other vapers around the United States. Do you think that New York has a case against vaping motorists or is this just another ridiculous excuse to target vapers and punish them for choosing e-cigs over tobacco cigarettes?

Do you think Dewing deserved to receive a ticket for vaping behind the wheel?

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About the Author

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting e-cigarettes since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.



4 Responses to New York Man Earns Traffic Ticket for Vaping Behind the Wheel

  1. patti boelke says:

    I think that it is really stupid for the Government to get involved. They want smokers to quit smoking ,but when something comes on the market like the E-Cigs they are not happy with that either. I do not think that he should have a ticket either. And yes we get looks when we smoke our E-cigs and they say they stink

  2. Coleen Badeaux says:

    People always dislike what they can’t relate to rather than being open minded…But really OPEN YOUR EARS and get with the times! Or it’s just plain jealously that we finally got ours!!! Get over it!

    • Coleen Badeaux says:

      Also they wanted to ruin people through cigarette! (Well, now THEY have created an empire against yourselves! GOOD LUCK!)

  3. Coleen Badeaux says:

    oops…THEY…meaning YOU…THE GOVS!!!!

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