Vaping is just like smoking nicotine cigarettes — according to new Rhode Island vaping legislation.
As of now, the state’s law considers the two distinct acts to be one and the same.
Like a majority of other initiatives throughout the country, Rhode Island politicians pointed to protecting the youth and innocent bystanders as motivation for acting on the legislation.
“In Rhode Island and nationwide, use of e-cigarettes by youth has surpassed the use of conventional cigarettes,” said Dominick Ruggerio, the state’s Senate president and sponsor of the bill. “We must address newer forms of smoking, both to protect Rhode Islanders from secondhand smoke.”
In 2016, Rhode Island adults had a smoking rate of 14.4 percent, which was 2.7 percent below the national average. Last year, 20.1 percent of high school student experienced e-cigarettes at least once, which was 6.9 percent above the national average, according to truthinitiative.org.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the new bill into law, stating e-cigarettes and vaporizers, among other delivery systems, will be banned from places of employment, just like regular cigs. Raimondo added vaping to the Public Health and Workplace Act’s meaning of “smoking,” according to wpri.com.
The new law went live July 1.
Ruggerio was quoted as saying he believed the vaping industry should be grouped into the same category as tobacco.
Despite the proven differences.
Ruggerio insisted the people of Rhode Island must be warned to “to help address the misconception that those products are somehow not unhealthy.”
Initially signed into law in 2005, the Public Health and Workplace Act effectively eliminated nearly all public smoking at enclosed establishments, including athletic fields, bars, health care operations, public restrooms, private businesses, and restaurants. Also affected were local bingo parlors and shopping malls.
Now, in Rhode Island, vaping is smoking.
No matter where you are.
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