Council looks to ban vaping in all locations in the Madison where smoking tobacco is banned.
Today, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, reacted to the introduction of an ordinance by members of the Madison City Council that would ban vaping in all locations in the city where smoking tobacco is banned. The ban would extend to e-cigarette specialty stores known as vape shops.
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, argues that the proposed ordinance would redefine the word ‘smoking’ to include the use of a smoke-free product.
Wisconsin’s indoor smoking ban, which took effect in 2010, bans smoking in bars, restaurants, private clubs, schools, hotels, clinics and other workplaces. It doesn’t apply to e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” according to the state Department of Health. Now council members want to change that, citing that vaping in public might pose a health hazard.
“Contrary to false claims made by activists and members of the Council, we do know what is in exhaled e-cigarette vapor,” Conley said. “The chemicals that have been identified are present at such trace levels that no serious toxicologist would claim that vapor poses a risk to the health of bystanders.
“Even worse, this ordinance would senselessly ban vaping in all of Madison’s seven dedicated vape shops. Meanwhile, cigar bars and hookah lounges in Madison will remain open for business. Even cities known for being hostile to be small businesses like New York City and Chicago have recognized the public health and financial benefits of vape shops, as their vaping bans specifically exempt all current and future vape shops from usage prohibitions,” Conley concluded.
The association chief said area businesses should have the final say.
“Many bars and restaurants in Madison welcome vaping, while others do not. In light of the complete absence of evidence showing harm from e-cigarette vapor, Madison should continue to allow businesses to set their own policies,” Conley said.