How do we regulate e-cigarette usage in our home and restaurant? Because they are not illegal, friends feel they can vap up in our home. Customers in our restaurant vap at the bar. We’re not a vapor lounge. We don’t have the authority to tell them no vapping. We say, “Please, go outside, with that” and they do. But then passersby see a group of people, including kids, outside our restaurant smoking e-cigarettes! It’s bad for business. We’re a family restaurant.
–Restaurateur, Providence, RI
In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration was empowered to regulate all nicotine products, including e-cigarette usage. There has been no change since then. After six years there are still no rules in place. Last week the federal government divulged the fact that youth e-cigarette usage tripled in the past year, outpacing traditional cigarette usage.
Most of us know that all new tobacco users are children, so it is also no surprise that tobacco companies’ marketing tactics target children with 7,000 fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarette products. All of which should be banned for sale online. Studies show that those who are not addicted to nicotine as children, don’t smoke as adults.
If Los Angeles and Santa Monica, among other cities and towns, can ban e-cigarette usage, so can Providence. Cozy up to your city council members, even if you have to wine them and dine them at your restaurant. Pushing for rules on the books locally is your best solution. Tell your city council members this:
E-cigarettes utilize a propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin based liquid mixed with nicotine and artificial food coloring and flavoring — all of which are damaging to the lungs. The e-cigarette is merely an insidious device to hook children onto nicotine.
For the time being, find ‘No smoking cigarettes of any kind’ signs and display them tastefully inside and out.
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