Three Major Cities Add E-Cigarettes to Clean Air Laws Today
New York, Chicago and San Francisco preserve the public’s right to breathe clean air
Posted by: Editor | Apr 29, 2014
New York City, Chicago and San Francisco today implemented new laws that prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in the same workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars, where cigarette smoking isn’t allowed. Two other California cities, Los Angeles and Long Beach, also recently implemented such laws.
According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, at least 170 municipalities and three states (North Dakota, New Jersey and Utah) have included e-cigarettes in their clean air laws.
Adding e-cigarettes furthers the fundamental purpose of these laws: To protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air in workplaces and public places. Including e-cigarettes protects non-users from any possible harm caused by e-cigarette emissions, simplifies enforcement of the laws, and helps ensure an environment that encourages smokers to quit and discourages kids from smoking.
"This is mostly about protecting kids from picking up a deadly habit, and protecting the rights of our residents to breathe clean indoor air," said Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Health.
The FDA last week proposed a long-overdue rule to begin regulating e-cigarettes and other tobacco products not currently under its jurisdiction. However, the FDA regulations do not address where e-cigarettes can be used, leaving that issue to states and local governments that have long addressed where cigarettes can be smoked.
Other states and localities should act quickly to include e-cigarettes in their clean air laws.