Time is beginning to run out for vapors in South Dakota.
In a move that created controversy in the Sunshine State (yes, that is one of its nicknames), a “hurried process” in March led by Gov. Kristi Noem enacted a law that bans e-cigarettes from nearly all bars, casinos, civic buildings, restaurants and workplaces, according to a report by South Dakota News Watch.
Rep. Carl Perry acted as the House sponsor and Noem signed the bill March 27. It goes into effect on July 1.
If caught vaping at a banned establishment after July 1, individuals could face a fine.
Legislative advocates cite air quality and the removal of secondhand aerosol residue as motivation to quickly push the bill through the House and Senate. Lawmakers also acted to establish a political firewall to combat the rising tide of teen vaping, the South Dakota News Watch reported.
“We need to stop the vaping process where we can, and this is a step in the right direction,” Perry said. “You’re helping kids, and you’re helping people who go out for dinner; you’re keeping second-hand vaping products out of their face and out of their lungs.”
Opponents of the ban, which include a host of conservative lawmakers, argued the ban went too far, infringing on property rights of business owners and personal freedoms of adults who legally choose to vape.
Black Hills Vapors Co-Owner Caleb Rose told South Dakota News Watch he was troubled by the process in which the bill became law.
“It wasn’t done right,” he said. “I think this is going to be a big surprise for a lot of folks. “A lot of folks like the fact they can vape inside of a bar, and for some, it makes it more effective as a smoking replacement because they don’t have to go outside.”
Those days are nearly exhausted.
Thanks to questionable political maneuvers, time is running out for vapors in the Swinged Cat State (yes, that, too, is a nickname).
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