Although Allegheny County has prohibited smoking in public areas, the Board of Health approved a no vaping policy which prohibits all vaporizers in cabs, buses, indoor public spaces, sports stadiums, government buildings, school, and workplaces.
The regulation was approved by 6 to 0 with just one abstention. The new no vaping policy will allow the use of these electronic devices in bars, tobacco shops, and vape shops. Some vape shop owners and e-cigarette users oppose these new regulations. Former smokers underline that vaping helped them kick two packs of cigarettes a day.
E-cigarettes are electronic vaping devices which have become widely popular over the past ten years. They heat a vaporizing liquid allowing users to get the nicotine rush. Also, they contain various flavors and different nicotine levels.
According to Karen Hacker, director of the Health Department, although some regular smokers were able to quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes, vaping is still far from being considered a reliable alternative.
Dr. Hacker further adds that people are free to vape in order to quit smoking, but thorough research must be done to determine the impacts or consequences of vaping on the entire United States population.
Also, even if they prove to be harmless, that doesn’t mean a no vaping policy is a bad idea. Recent research has shown that many teenagers have started using e-cigarettes in recent years, although they have never smoked before.
Public health officials underline that many of the U.S. adults who are using e-cigarettes are also regular smokers, meaning that on a large scale, vaping does not replace smoking, but it brings traditional tobacco use back in trend.
According to Caroline Mitchell, an Allegheny County health board member, CDC underlines that every local community should check the vaping regulations, especially because little is known about the effects of aerosols, whereas vaping has become widely spread in middle school and among teenagers.
Dr. Hacker hails the no vaping regulations because e-cigarettes are possibly harmful for the young population. Michigan and Pennsylvania allow e-cigarette sale and consumption among minors as well. There are currently 77 vape shops in Allegheny County which sell just e-cigarettes and vaporizers, plus 881 licensed tobacco retailers that sell mostly e-cigarettes.
Image Source: Wikipedia