Another City Falsely Classifies Vaping As Tobacco In Blanket Ban

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

Officials in an Ohio city are enacting a blanket ban on using tobacco products in outdoor public spaces, including the use of tobacco-free vapor devices.

Following the model of a growing number of localities across the country, the city of Hamilton will criminalize the use of electronic cigarettes in nearly all public areas by lumping them in with traditional tobacco. Vaping devices will be treated like cigarettes, despite only containing nicotine and significantly cutting the health risks from smoking, reports FOX 45 Now.

Public health experts argue policies that do not differentiate between the safety profile of traditional tobacco and vapor products actually undermine public health and make it less likely that smokers in the area will attempt to quit. They argue the fear tactics used to push such bans ignore permanent science, leaving the public misinformed and stigmatizing the use of a safer alternative.

“The body responds by reacting to this inflammatory agent that’s coming in and it sets off a chain reaction that can lead to heart attacks within hours potentially,” Dr. Marcus Romanello, chief medical officer at Fort Hamilton Hospital, told FOX 45 Now. “Down the road the body amounts a response that leads to changes in your cellular dynamics, changes in DNA that increase your risk of cancer.”

While these health warnings hold true for cigarettes and traditional forms of tobacco, these statements cannot be applied to vapor products. A growing body of medical evidence shows that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently acknowledged the health benefits of e-cigarettes and is now encouraging smokers to transition to vaping to reduce their health risks.

The vaping ban in Hamilton covers all public parks, municipal parking lots and any streets or sidewalks near these areas. Violators will face fines of up to $50 for a first-time offense when the measure takes effect Friday.

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