Various American cities have been trying their best to place bans on electronic cigarettes in different areas, with special attention being paid to workplaces. Boston became one of the latest cities to place a ban on electronic cigarettes late last year. Most of the bans passed were aimed at stopping younger people from using electronic cigarettes, primarily those under the age of 18.
Boston Bans E-Cigarette
Because the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has been unable to regulate the electronic cigarette, state officials have had to step in. Boston became the most recent city to actively push for a ban on electronic cigarettes. A health commission report was held in the city where various proposals were presented to treat electronic cigarettes like regular tobacco products. The consequence of such an action includes a total ban from the workplace plus the fact they are only be legal for adults to use. No one under the age of 18 is allowed to smoke an e-cigarette in areas with such legislation.
So what does this mean for the city? After the ruling by the Boston Public Health Commission, retailers who sell electronic cigarettes now have to obtain permits in order to sell them. This is going to make life difficult for some local stores. Retailers caught selling tobacco products without a license or to minors already faced steep financial penalties. However, with the new law in effect, these fines will actually be doubled for anyone who violates tobacco control regulations. A $100 fine will be issued for a first offence with a $400 fine placed on stores who are caught breaking the rule four times in 12 months.
The ban in Boston on selling electronic cigarettes to those under 18 was passed unanimously. Bans on using them in the workplace were passed 5 to 1. Because of these new regulations passed by the city, anybody who sells electronic cigarettes must place them behind counters. People will have to show ID to prove they are over 18 in order to purchase them.
A number of health advocates have hit out at these rulings, saying that the Commission’s analysis was limited and they drew their conclusions too early. Advocates of e-cigarettes also cited studies which proved that these products have the same level of hazardous chemicals as nicotine patches and gum. According to the Executive Director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, Bill Godshall, the FDA is guilty of fear mongering. These restrictions have been in place since December 2011.