Lead photo via Vaping360

A new rule banning e-cigarette and vaporizer use from all public indoor spaces in New York could have an unforeseen impact on a number of undercover cannabis users at bars, restaurants, and concert venues across the Empire State.

According to the New York Times, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation early this week to add vaping to the state’s 2003 Clean Indoor Air Act, expelling the battery-operated smoking substitutes from the same restaurants, bars, workplaces, and other public indoor spaces where traditional cigarettes are banned.

With cigarette use long taboo in the Big Apple, barred from not only indoor venues but also public parks and storefront stoops, e-cigs and bulky vaporizers have become ubiquitous across the city, with fruit and hookah-flavored vapor clouds hovering above all five boroughs, much to the chagrin of anti-smoking advocates in New York’s legislature.

“These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, but the reality is they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them,” said Gov. Cuomo in a statement. “This measure closes another dangerous loophole in the law, creating a stronger, healthier New York for all.”

But while most folks probably aren’t fond of Pina Colada e-juice vapor interrupting their night on the town, the rise of e-cigarettes has largely coincided with the popular growth of pocket-sized marijuana oil vaporizers, enabling undercover canna-fans to take their ganja on-the-go. Since bartenders, concert security, and cops often turn a blind eye to vape use, and cannabis pens generally create smaller, less intrusive plumes of vapor than their nicotine cloud cousins, the technology has allowed users to medicate wherever they please. Particularly in New York City, where the NYPD continues to arrest thousands of cannabis users every year, discreet stoners have used the perceived cover of e-cig use to disguise public pot smoking for years.

With Cuomo’s new vaporizer ban going into effect next month though, NYC’s cannabis vapers will soon have to step outside with their nicotine-blowing peers or risk getting kicked out, or worse, found out by a nosy cop.

However unlike cigarette use, e-cigs are still allowed in most of New York city’s outdoor spaces and public parks, giving low-key stoners at least one group of semi-sanctioned places for covert cannabis consumption.

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