As of Monday the use of electronic cigarettes in the national parks is prohibited, announces the National Park Service.
The National Park Service has already issued several policies regarding tobacco smoking in 2003, and more recently in 2009, according to the internal memorandum of the National Park Service.
The memo states that the new policy has the role to: “protect employees and park visitors from health hazards and annoyances associated with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, commonly known as second-hand smoke, which is a known human carcinogen.”
The use of electronic cigarettes will not be allowed in any vehicles that are owned or leased by the government, such as watercraft, heavy equipment, etc. Vaping will also be banned in building or other facilities that are granted by the national park.
E-cigarettes will be banned in areas where tobacco smoking is also prohibited. The National Park Service memo cites several studies which state that the level of nicotine found in the vapour that is emitted from the electronic cigarettes is roughly one-tenth of the nicotine found in secondhand smoke. That is one of the reasons why the National Park Service chose to ban the use of e-cigarettes in parks.
The National Park Service in not the first to prohibit the e-cigarettes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a policy that forbids vaporising in all the Fish and Wildlife Service facilities or vehicles. The U.S. Geological Survey also prohibited the use of electronic cigarettes in all its atria, interior spaces, courtyards, bus stops, and balconies.
A spokesperson for the National Park Service said that the outdoor smoking restrictions that were issued in order to prevent wildfires should also be applied to electronic cigarettes.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association Trade Group thinks that the new bans should not be reinforced. “Outdoor smoking bans in parks can at least somewhat be justified by the risk of fires, but vapour products pose no more a fire risk than a cell phone battery. This behaviour is shameful and any enforcement of the ban will constitute a great misuse of government resources,” Conley said. He added that the National Park should stop bothering the electronic cigarette smokers.
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