WPRI News reports that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has signed a bill into law which adds vapor products to the state’s existing ban on smoking in publicly accessible venues.
Place like private businesses, restaurants, most bars, public restrooms, athletic fields, health care facilities, shopping malls, bingo facilities, common areas of apartment buildings with more than four units and any similar locations have been banned smoking in by Rhode Island’s 2005 Health and Workplace Safety. The amendment Governor Raimondo just signed into law will add vapor products in that Act’s definition of “smoking”, vapor is not smoke and contrary to scientific findings which have established that vapor is 95% less harmful than smoke.
The amendment went into force on July 1st. It does allow for exemptions: vapor products may still be used in brick and mortar vapor stores, and in “vapor bars” — those being, establishments which serve food and/or alcohol but also generate at least 33 percent of their revenue from the sale of vapor products.
In word of bill’s sponsor, Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio:
“In Rhode Island and nationwide, use of e-cigarettes by youth has surpassed use of conventional cigarettes. We must address newer forms of smoking, both to protect Rhode Islanders from secondhand smoke and to help address the misconception that those products are somehow not unhealthy.”
Senate President Ruggerio’s thinking does have two flaws : First, vaping is not a “new form of smoking”, any more than driving a motor vehicle is “a new form of walking.” Second, it is not a misconception that vaping is less harmful than smoking; it’s a scientifically demonstrable fact