Independence Day has come and gone, but vapers across the nation are feeling less freedom thanks to various e-cigarette bans.
The City of Bloomington, Ind. already has a smoking ordinance in place. However, the city’s Common Council has voted to include vaping within the existing legislation, meaning that vaping will be banned wherever smoking is, according to WHIOTV7.
Vapers hoping to vape in Minneapolis parks, swimming pools, lakes, golf courses and arenas this summer are out of luck, as all “tobacco products” were recently banned, according to KARE11. Vaping is included in the ban, and if violators are caught, they may be asked to exit the park.
The Albany, NY, County Legislature has banned e-cigs in county-owned parks and recreational areas, the Times Union reports. Deemed Local Law “A,” vaping and other products are prohibited at Lawson Lake County Park, the county Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail and the Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve. First-time offenders could be fined $50, with $200 to $500 for subsequent violations. Additionally, the New York Daily News reports that New York state lawmakers in Albany want indoor vaping banned. The state Assembly has approved a measure “placing the same indoor prohibitions on e-cigarettes that currently exist for traditional cigarettes.” Those places include restaurants, bars and workplaces, effectively adding e-cigs to the state’s Clean Indoor Act.
Meanwhile, in Clifton Park, NY, smoking and vaping is close to being banned in public parks, trails and nature reserves, according to The Daily Gazette. The Town Board has unanimously approved the resolution. While fines aren’t yet on the horizon for offenders, signs will be displayed “to warn against smoking.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that the city of Laguna Beach is close to passing one of the strictest vaping/smoking bans in Orange County. Currently, Laguna Beach’s ban includes beaches, parks, outdoor dining areas and restrooms. Laguna Woods’ ban includes “balconies or patios of residential facilities, covered and semi-covered carports shared by more than one residential unit, and ticket, boarding and waiting areas for public transportation,” while Laguna Hills “bans smoking within 20 feet of all outdoor dining and patio areas and on elevators, escalators and stairways.” If the new ordinance passes, the ban would extend to “sidewalks, streets and alleys and in multi-unit residential common areas such as pools, laundry rooms and hallways.” Additionally, hotel, motel and inn owners could be allowed to decide if they want their own bans enacted in guest rooms and pools. To go into effect, the city council must pass the ordinance on a second reading, according to the Times.
Down in Texas, the Austin City Council is mulling a ban from parks, bars and restaurants, adding vaping to the existing ordinance that bans tobacco products. MyStatesman.com reports that the city council have asked that e-cigs be added to the city ordinance, and the measure passed unanimously on the consent agenda. Final city council approval should come within the next three months.
The Standard Journal in St. Anthony, ID, has added e-cigs to the existing smoking ban of all 14 city parks. The city circumvented the two-reading rule and only had one reading of the proposed amended ordinance. The Standard Journal says that the plan is to fine first offenders $75, second offenders $150 and $300 for subsequent violations.
Finally in this month’s wrap up, we have Rockville, MD, where the city council and mayor voted 4-1 to ban smoking and vaping “at the outdoor seating and patio areas for restaurants and bars,” according to The Sentinel. The maximum fine is currently $1,000, but the Sentinel says that the powers that be will meet again to have the fine adjusted. Council member Mark Pierzchala, who was the vote against the ban, told the Sentinel that the thought the ban “was an example of government overreach.”
“I’m sure the ordinance will help in a few spots in (Rockville) Town Center, for example, but I’m also afraid that it will move the problem to other locations that don’t have anything to do with food and drink,” Pierzchala told the Sentinel.