While we await the ruling on the FDA’s Deeming Regulations on electronic cigarettes, local governments throughout the country have already started passing their own vape laws. Restaurants, coffee shops and even public parks are becoming off-limits for e-cig users; so, before you head out on your next vacation or business trip, you may need to know where you can and can’t vape openly. In order of “very vape-friendly” to “you better run and hide”, here is an overview of where to vape or not to vape across the U.S.
Top Places to Vape in the U.S.
Tampa hosts the Vaping Convention Circuit, one of the greatest vaping expositions on the planet, so the city is naturally accepting of e-cigs. You can even vape inside places like the WestShore Plaza shopping center.
Virginia Beach, VA
In this small town, local bars and restaurants actively market to vapers and encourage e-cig use in their establishments. Check out this list of vape-friendly restaurants and bars across the country. You will see quite a few in Virginia Beach that have made it a point to include they are vape-friendly.
Colorado has been a trail blazer in the national movement to decriminalize marijuana, so it’s probably no surprise that the progressive city of Denver has no e-cig bans and more than 100 vape shops.
Las Vegas, NV
In Vegas, smoking tobacco is still allowed inside many bars and casinos. Therefore, no one will judge you for using your e-cig in public. Las Vegas has over 30 vape shops and has become the home of the annual Vape Summit.
Tucson does not include e-cigs in its no-smoking ordinances. This desert city is home to more than 150 vape shops, as well as the Arizona Vape Expo scheduled for May 13th to 15th, 2016.
The home of Starbucks, young professionals and many talented artists has no current indoor vaping regulations; however, pending legislation could potentially destroy vape-friendly Seattle.
Non-Vape Friendly Cities in the U.S.
In Greenwood, Indiana, not only are you prohibited from vaping inside public establishments, you also cannot use e-cigs within 25 feet of building entrances or government property. That means no vaping in outdoor seating areas of restaurants or in Greenwood’s public parks.
Vaping is banned indoors, but Chicago gives vapers a little more leeway than Greenwood; you only have to be 15 feet away from building entrances to use your e-cig.
Just this year, Boston implemented several new regulations on e-cigs. Regulations include a ban on promotional giveaways by vape shops, as well as a ban on e-cig use in workplaces, which means all indoor vaping is practically off-limits.
The Mayor of Philadelphia signed two bills on e-cigs in April of 2014, which banned e-cig use in all workplaces, restaurants, bars, and other public places.
In March of 2015, Asheville banned e-cigs from all city buses, parks, and greenways, and is still pushing for a complete ban on e-cig use in all public places.
Madison recently added vaping to its list of things you can’t do indoors. This ban on e-cigs in public indoor spaces was implemented in January of 2015.
Non-Vape Friendly States in the U.S.
This state’s anti-vaping laws are among the most draconian. In 2010, New Jersey became the first state to ban vaping indoors: you can’t even vape inside a vaping convention or vape shop!
In April of 2014, New York City implemented a ban on e-cigs in any place where tobacco cigarettes are prohibited, including bars, restaurants, offices, parks and even beaches. In the Big Apple, the only place New Yorkers can publicly vape is inside an e-cig store, and city officials are even trying to put a stop to that.
New York State is not too far behind in e-cig bans. As of January 2015, New York State began the push for a statewide e-cig ban, which would prohibit the use of e-cigs anywhere tobacco is prohibited, as well as a ban on e-liquid flavors and e-cig advertisements. Some areas of New York have also set the age restriction for purchasing e-cigs to 21, including New York City and Suffolk County.
Related: Buying Electronic Cigarettes: How Old is Old Enough?
Like New Jersey, North Dakota was also one of the first states to prohibit the use of e-cigs in all public spaces. The state’s decision to regulate e-cigs in the same manner as tobacco was signed into law in 2012.
In Hawaii County (the main island), anywhere that doesn’t allow smoking–which includes most places, even beaches–is off limits for vaping. This vaping ban was implemented in January of this year and now the rest of the state is following those steps with a statewide ban effective January 2016. This means vaping is not only prohibited indoors, but you also won’t be able to enjoy a vape on the beach while taking in a gorgeous Hawaiian sunset.
There is a time and place for vaping, and it is certainly not the middle of the day in California. In fact, California tried to pass a statewide ban on the sale of e-cigs back in 2009, which was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Since then, California has filed several lawsuits against e-cig companies for “violating” its Prop 65 Law which requires e-cig products to carry warning labels with dubious claims about the ill effects of vaping. The state has also spent $75 million on an anti-vaping campaign to discourage vaping, and some cities have even banned the sale of flavored e-liquids. However, if you do plan on heading out to California and will be in the Los Angeles area, you can still vape inside malls and theaters–if you’re brave enough.