New York last month became the latest state to ban e-cigarettes and vaping in indoor public areas where traditional tobacco cigarettes are prohibited, such as restaurants, bars and other workplaces. In doing so, the state put e-cigarettes in the same class of public health hazard as regular tobacco cigarettes.
New York becomes the fifth state to enact a statewide ban on vaping in certain public areas. Some states have targeted bans in certain locales, such as schools and government offices. Some individual communities have enacted vaping bans of their own.
Taking effect this month, New York's new law will cover vaping under the state's Clean Indoor Air Act.
There is no such ban - nor is there proposed legislation - on e-cigarettes or vaping in New Hampshire.
Support for restrictions on vaping
Proponents of vaping bans cite concern about both the addictive qualities of e-cigarettes and the effect vapors might have on bystanders.
“E-cigarettes often contain toxic chemicals in addition to nicotine, something bystanders should not be forced to breathe,” said state Sen. Kemp Hannon, a Republican who sponsored the legislation in the New York Assembly. “With recent reports showing their use among minors increasing, New York must continue to work to regulate these devices in a common sense manner."
A U.S. Surgeon General report cites potentially harmful ingredients in e-cigarettes including flavor enhancers such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.
An infringement on 'vaper' rights
The Vaper Rights organization counters that vapor is not cigarette smoke and it shouldn’t always be treated the same way. It said reasonable restrictions on vaping in schools and other places designated for children are appropriate, but complete public place vaping bans are too extreme. The organization also argues that business owners know best how to address the preferences of their customers. They should be the ones deciding if vaping is allowed in the restaurants, stores, bars or businesses they own.
Should New Hampshire treat e-cigarettes like cigarettes and ban them in indoor areas? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.