If you’ve always dreamed of taking a vacation to the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, a new law might make you want to reconsider. Governor David Ige is waging a war on electronic cigarettes and with his new Act 19 signed into law, ecigs are completely banned in places where smoking is not allowed.
The Governor has had an intense focus on tobacco legislation in the past few months, but now he seems to be turning his sights on e-cigs as well. Along with banning vaping in public areas, he has raised the legal smoking age to 21 across Hawaii. His new bill would also create new fines for underage individuals that try to buy cigarettes.
Hawaii’s lawmakers want ecigs banned because they claim the vapor is dangerous and harmful, especially to women and children. Hawaii’s Health Director, Dr. Virginia Pressler, pointed out that no one expected tobacco smoke to be deadly until it was far too late and she believes that ecigs must be stopped before the trend continues any further.
Unfortunately, Governor Ige and his cronies are completely avoiding any research based evidence for their rules, most likely because there is none. Today’s scientists have been clear that ecigs are far safer than tobacco cigarettes and they don’t pose any health hazard through secondhand inhalation. Yet lawmakers like Governor Ige are still on a war path, trying to eliminate electronic cigarettes as quickly as possible.
In the big scheme of things, isn’t this only going to do more harm than good? If we take away the opportunity to vape in areas where smoking is prohibited, it will remove one of the major incentives that pushes smokers to consider vaping instead. The more we punish ecig users, the more they will opt to stick with their old tobacco cigarettes and continue with an increased risk factor for cancer, stroke, heart disease, and even death.
Will lawmakers ever wake up to the fact that their anti-vaping policies are actually harmful to public health?