Every day, more businesses and organizations across the country make the decision to ban tobacco use within their facilities and on their grounds. What does this mean for those who use electronic cigarettes? It could mean they can use their e-cigs in places where smoking is prohibited, as long as vaping becomes an acceptable alternative to smoking, as science is already beginning to suggest.
Will Vaping Replace Smoking?
The known dangers of secondhand smoke continue to make for great selling points when proposed smoking bans are presented to governing bodies for approval. These statistics, proving the various health hazards associated with smoking, serve just as well to counter those who oppose the bans.
Electronic cigarettes, on the other hand, produce vapor rather than smoke and the majority of e-liquids available on the market contain about a handful of ingredients, as compared to the thousands of harmful chemicals found within and released from lit cigarette tobacco. So, could vaping be the answer to smoking bans?
Smoking Bans Across the US
Some of the most recent cases of smoking bans in the U.S. involve sports and entertainment venues on both public and private property. While many institutions of higher education still permit cigarette smoking in designated areas, hundreds of others have moved beyond that and have forbidden it altogether. In some situations, such as in the case of West Virginia University in Morgantown, smoking is strictly banned on “all premises owned, operated, leased or occupied by WVU.”
The WVU ban, implemented on July 1, 2013, is the end result of many months of collaboration and advocacy on the part of select students, staff and faculty. Forming a task force of motivated anti-smoking activists concerned with public health, these individuals approached the university’s Board of Governors in June of 2012. Their proposed ban was successfully approved.
The ban does, however, extend the possibility for exemption under certain circumstances. With the permission of the Vice President of Administration and Finance, organizers of large events at WVU may allow visitors to smoke freely despite the existence of a stringent ban as long as smokers are confined to designated areas outside.
Other prominent football stadiums that have adopted similar policies include the M&T Bank Stadium/Baltimore Ravens, Ford Field/Detroit Lions, Lambeau Field/Green Bay Packers, Mall of America Field/Minnesota Vikings and Lincoln Financial Field/Philadelphia Eagles, among others.
Why Allow Smoking in a Non Smoking Venue?
The primary reason to allow limited smoking in an otherwise restricted area rests with money. University-hosted football games, concerts and events rake in an immense amount of money for the school each year.
To completely disallow the use of tobacco products during these events wouldn’t make much business sense for the university, depriving it of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, annually. Taking this into consideration, we are left with a key question. If there weren’t so much money attached to these exceptions, would smoking still be permitted in designated areas?
For the majority of non-smokers out there, the answer to a question like this is a simple one: There should be no reason that anyone is ever subjected to secondhand smoke against their will or control in a public place, especially when alternatives are available.
E-Cigs: The Answer to Smoking Bans?
For the ex-smokers who have made the switch to electronic cigarettes, the inability to pull out a pack and light up at any game or event is a non-issue. Their simple solution, a convenient nicotine delivery system sans the tobacco and tar, produces the satisfying vapor they need without forcing the unwelcome gift of secondhand smoke on anyone else.
Many of the buildings and facilities that have enacted bans against cigarette smoking do allow the use of e-cigs as long as it doesn’t detract from the overall experience of their other customers, though you should always check with the venue to inquire about their policy. The authorities in charge of regulation in these establishments reveal that they would rather have the attendees vaping and spending money than leaving because they can’t smoke a tobacco cigarette.
Once again, when it comes to business, customer satisfaction (and therefore increased revenue) comes first. However, when it comes to how consumers view the ban on tobacco cigarettes in various public places and sports arenas, the line is often blurred. Smokers want to be able to partake in a cigarette without having to leave the entire sports complex and non-smokers want to be able to enjoy their time out with family without exposure to secondhand smoke. Naturally, trying to come to a resolution that makes everyone happy is a challenge.
As someone who has quit smoking tobacco cigarettes and now highly values clean, smoke-free air, how would you react to people smoking near you in spite of a ban on tobacco? Maybe you could offer them one of our Fling disposable e-cigs instead and see how they react.