Legislation that would restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public — treating the habit like smoking — is likely to gain preliminary approval from the Baltimore City Council today, reports the Baltimore Sun.The bill was introduced by Councilman James B. Kraft, who saw the “wild, wild west” of vaping — on which “[t]here have not been any real studies…nationwide” — and decided that restricting it was the most prudent thing to do.
He’s got the support of many public health advocates who say that it’s not yet known whether e-cigarettes help or hinder smoking cessation, that they are increasing the number of young kids who smoke, and that the health consequences of breathing in the chemicals in e-cigarette vapors are not yet known.
On the other hand, vaping sets itself apart from smoking by, well, not producing any smoke. Not only should that mean that vaping does not threaten the health of others, the way smoking does; it doesn’t even produce an unpleasant odor. Perhaps in acknowledgement of the lack of obvious second-hand health issues, the bill allows bars and restaurants to opt out the ban, providing they warn customers. Businesses built around vaping are likewise exempt.
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