The spark of new interest in vaping raises serious questions about its effects. While smoking has faced a longer prohibition, does vaping deserve the same scrutiny? How sure are we that the two actions are even comparable? Check it out and let us know what you think in the poll and comments below.
Where is Smoking Banned?
Federal law restricts smoking only to commercial flights and the interiors of government buildings. Instead of assigning blanket rules dictating smoking or vaping in public places, this is up to state governments. State smoking bans exist as statewide policy in some states. With other regulations allowing local governments to enact their own limitations.
The most prevalent of all smoking bans occur in enclosed spaces. There are 25 states that have enacted statewide bans on smoking in enclosed spaces. In these states, the restriction also applies to restaurants and bars. There are 11 other states with statewide smoking bans that make exceptions for casinos or bars.
Where is Vaping Banned?
The FDA has classified vapes and their accessories as tobacco products. This subjects them to greater scrutiny. Many agree that this prevents their sale to minors. Yet, there are less strict laws on the actual use of vaping products than there are on smoking products. There are only 10 states with statewide vaping bans in enclosed spaces. This is a stark contrast to the 36 states which ban smoking in the same places.
While townships and local governments currently have the freedom to enact their own vaping laws, there are fewer restrictions on vapor than smoke.
Public Perception of Smoking VS Vaping
The loose restriction on vaping in public places reflects differing public perception. To the average citizen, the presence of vapor is less offensive than smoke. Yet, there is not extensive medical evidence that can prove that vapor in an enclosed space is any less dangerous than smoke.
Without official evidence, I can merely offer up my own anecdotal evidence and assumptions. Smoke creates a large number of carbon deposits. Besides this carbon, there are also thousands of other irritants and substances released. In general, I find smoke to be much heavier than vapor. In my opinion, the smell and is much less strong and the vapor dissipates more quickly than smoke.
Opposition to Smoking and Vaping Bans
When smoking bans initially began to rise in prominence, they faced major opposition. Many believed that the bans could have effects on local businesses. Thus far, those reports remain unfounded. There are also worries that by banning smoking in the working place, users will smoke more in their homes. This could theoretically raise children’s and pet’s exposure to second-hand smoke. There is also the argument that restrictions on smoking relegate smokers to second-class citizens.
From an ideological perspective, this raises larger questions. For instance:
• Should the government have the right to restrict the actions of individuals or business owners?
• Does the habit of smoking justify a loss of freedoms?
• Do the restrictions on the action of smoking affect the perception of the individuals who indulge?
With vaping being a new phenomenon, many believe the evidence does not exist to justify harsh vaping bans. If there is no conclusive evidence of its effects, does the government have the right to restrict it? Many also argue that the recent regulations are not in the interest of public health at all. Some argue that it goes further to help corporations than people.
This also raises its own set of questions:
• Should vaping be as heavily restricted as smoking if we don’t yet know the effects?
• If vaping is banned in the same places as smoking, will it make vapers more likely to go back to smoking?
• Are restrictions on vaping in place to help people? Or do they protect the interests of lobbyists and corporations?
What do You think?
We’d love to know what you think about this topic. Please cast your vote in the poll provided. Have more to say than a multiple-choice poll can provide? Leave a comment in our comment section to get the dialogue going. Let us know what you think.