This week, the directors of San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) voted unanimously to ban electronic cigarettes in all stations and on board the city’s trains. Until now, passengers were free to vape on public transportation, but directors claim that they were getting an onslaught of complaints from passengers concerned about second hand smoke. While there are no state or federal laws that ban vaping on public transit, the agency felt like there was enough concern from passengers to warrant a formal policy.
Spokesman Taylor Huckaby said that other California transportation agencies are also struggling to determine the best way to deal with vaping passengers. Some agencies have chosen to ignore the problem for now and wait to see what the FDA will do with upcoming regulations. But BART directors felt like they needed to take action now and they will introduce the new ecig ban effective immediately.
Huckaby said the agency will give passengers some time to learn about the new policy before they begin to really enforce it. BART plans to add new signs to the trains and stations so passengers are clearly informed about the new ecig restrictions. Public transit police officers will pass out warning tickets to vapers that ignore the new rule. Eventually, BART directors plan to implement penalties to people caught using ecigs on the trains. First time violators will be fine $100 and second time offenders will have to pay $200. If a passenger gets three offenses within five years, the penalty would be $500.
Do you think San Francisco’s new ban on ecigs is reasonable? Is it rude to vape on public transportation or are officials just overreacting because they don’t understand the science behind electronic cigarettes?