"Hello, thank you for vaping," the man working the door says as I walk into Play, the purple-and-red-lit lounge attached to Manhattan’s Museum of Sex, at around 9PM on Monday night.

Inside, a diverse crowd of punks, 9-to-5-types, white hairs, 20-somethings, Army veterans, and artists puffed on nicotine vaporizers, the all-metallic devices that look like part of a vacuum cleaner, and "cigalikes," the smaller, cheaper sticks that look like cigarettes and probably have glowing tips. The smell of caramelized banana, Apple Jacks, and melon mixed in the air.

The event was a bitter celebration. At midnight, New York City’s ban on e-cigs in public places like bars, restaurants, and parks was set to take effect. The attendees were there to vape in defiance at 12:01AM.