Vaping indoors: The Final Frontier
Vaping indoors: Mission impossible
At the end of June, California Representative Duncan Hunter, known by his (be it a superhero) name of Vaping Congressman, vaped during a committee meeting. Not from one, but from two vapes. As he blew a few clouds inside of the room where the meeting took place, his colleagues frantically waved them away. Vaping Congressman just wanted to prove his point on the new law equating vaping and smoking, and hence banning the use of e-cigs and vaporizers on the plane.
Unfortunately, Vaping Congressman was voted out by 29 of 30, and yet another equating the e-cigs with regular ones came into effect. Such laws appear to be particularly problematic when it comes to indoor spaces. For example, they even prohibit vaping at a vape merch stores. When you go to your favorite shop, you might not be able to do anything else besides just testing out the vape, if even that.
On the other hand, where these laws show up as the most damaging is that they are pushing indoor vapers in the same areas as indoor smokers. As many smokers are switching to vaping for the sake of more balanced transition and healthier lifestyles, it is hazardous for them to suffer exposure to something that they are running away from to save their lives.
Where is then appropriate to vape indoors, and where is not, what laws have to say about this, and what are the effects of indoor vaping? We tackled these subjects for you.
Vaping indoors in the USA
Back in 2016, World Health Organization urged for banning the e-cigs in indoor spaces where smoking is already prohibited. As such, vaping has been increasingly steadily regulated, most dominantly in the USA. The vast majority of state governments looked up to this urge and included e-cigarettes in their smoking bans.
Both in the USA and the majority of the world, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public workplaces, bars, and restaurants. Minor exceptions are small workplaces and family owned business, casinos, private clubs, clubs for adults, and cigar bars. Many countries worldwide as well as almost every American state followed the same pattern while putting a ban on vaping. As of June current year, following the Vaping Congressman story, vaping is prohibited on planes as well.
Vaping at vape stores
After the extension of Indoor Clean Air Act in 2015 and its implementation in 2016, vaping shops and conventions ironically faced vaping indoor ban too. This new law treats e-cigarettes like regular cigarettes, which means no smoking and vaping indoors! Some state or local laws will allow sampling of a new product at a vape store, but many are not even allowing this little harmless pleasure to users. Even though e-cigarettes do not necessarily contain nicotine, nor they produce smoke, as of January 2016 vaping is illegal indoors. Make sure you locate the store where you can test out your desired product and make sure it matches your preference and condition. However, make sure you also check official FDA guidance on activities allowed in a vape store.
In rare cases, based on smoke-free laws, some states will still allow vaping in bars and restaurants. Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Tennessee are the only states that do not regulate indoor vaping at all, whether locally or statewide.
Vaping indoors in the UK
When it comes to the second biggest vaping market, the UK, the situation is somewhat different. However, it seems that more indoor places are prohibiting rather than allowing vaping. Not as much for the sake of health or legal grounds, the UK train operators Southern, Virgin, Northern, and Cross Country banned vaping on trains, and train stops so that people do not confuse regular with e-cigarettes. Vaping is allowed on trains, and train stops in Kent. Many buses, especially those in London, do not allow vaping as well.
Regarding the airports, the only exception is London Heathrow, allowing its passengers to vape until they reach their flight gate.
As the UK is big on sports and fandom, vaping regulations at stadiums are a sword with two blades. Some of the greatest football names saying no to vaping at their stadiums are Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City. A few years back, the staff of the Manchester City stadium handcuffed a fan who vaped after the ban came into effect!
On the other hand, most pubs will allow vaping, yet you should check it first. If venturing to Starbucks or KFC, you better keep your vape gear in your pocket.
Vaping harmless to indoor air
Most of the indoor vaping bans are the result of concerns regarding the effects of vaping on indoor air. However, a study presented in 2016 at the 4th Workplace and Indoor Aerosols conference in Barcelona shows that particles exhaled by e-cig are nothing else but droplets of liquid evaporating within the speed of light.
The study, conducted by researchers from Lithuania and Switzerland, measured particle concentrations in the surrounding air where vapers exhaled the vape. Straight after the exhalation, scientists noticed a quick evaporation of vapor droplets, which resulted in the air returning to its natural composition and qualities soon afterward. The researchers encountered the same results in the worst case scenario, which was exhaling the vapor in a no ventilation room.
“This study shows that e-cigarettes – similar to other consumer aerosol-based products – release liquid primary particles into the air that disappear extremely quickly,” stated Dr. Grant O’Connell, one of the participants in the study. He furthermore added that “this also tells us how fundamentally different exhaled e-cigarette particles are compared to those emitted by smoking conventional cigarettes, the latter of which are reported to linger in the air for long periods of time. By contrast, no accumulation of particles was registered in the room following e-cigarette use.”
Smoke from the lit tobacco cigarette emits dozens of chemicals, most of which are toxic or lethal. Some of the comparisons of vaping and smoking you can read here. Vaping emits just a few that are soon after the matter of the past once a vaper puffs them out and they disintegrate in the air. Given the logic behind introducing same smoking and vaping indoor bans and areas, we wonder why the government just do not suffocate us all in a big cloud of tobacco smoke?