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Lafayette City Council Confuses Vaping With Smoking

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Lafayette City Council Confuses Vaping with Smoking

Lafayette (Indiana) City Council has unanimously voted to enact an ordinance that will include vaping in their definition of smoking. The move isn’t surprising – banning vaping in areas where smoking is banned makes sense generally – but the issue is more about how they chose to do it:

Section 9.04.010 of the City of Lafayette Municipal Code is hereby amended to amend the definition of “Smoking” and as amended shall read as follows: “Smoking” means the act of puffing, having in one’s possession, holding or carrying a lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette, pipe or smoking equipment of any kind, or lighting a cigar, cigarette, pipe or smoking equipment of any kind. “Smoking” also includes the use of an Electronic Smoking Device in any manner or in any form.

Now, upon first reading this you might think an “Electronic Smoking Device” is a heat-not-burn device such as the IQOS, but no:

Section 9.04.010 of the City of Lafayette Municipal Code is hereby amended to include the following definition: “Electronic Smoking Device” means any electronic product that can be used to aerosolize or vaporize and deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe or under any other product name or descriptor and any cartridge or other component of the device or related product.

Lafayette City Council Confuses Vaping with Smoking

As you can see, instead of adding the act of vaping into their municipal code, they have redefined “Smoking” to include the use of an e-cigarette. Many vapers now consider themselves as being ex-smokers and while I’m sure most of them would have no issue in being told not to vape in non-smoking areas, it would be understandable if they felt uneasy about having their vaping labelled as “smoking”.

The Medical Dictionary describes smoking as:

Smoking is the inhalation of the smoke of burning tobacco encased in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Casual smoking is the act of smoking only occasionally, usually in a social situation or to relieve stress. A smoking habit is a physical addiction to tobacco products. Many health experts now regard habitual smoking as a psychological addiction, too, and one with serious health consequences.

While e-cigarettes are connected to traditional smoking in that they are frequently used by people as a tool to stop smoking and have been labelled as “tobacco related products”, their use is not the same as smoking and no smoke is involved – and since no smoke is involved, using an e-cigarette should never be confused with smoking. Call it what it is – regulate it how you want, but at least call it what it is – vaping is a proven tobacco harm reduction method being successfully used by millions of people all over the world to stop smoking.

Currently located in Sydney, Australia, I have been vaping since 2009 and became active in the e-cigarette industry in late 2015. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over 700 shops in 6 countries.

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