E-cigarettes-Lawsuit

In a ruling handed down Wednesday, a federal judge is siding with public health groups in their effort to force the Food and Drug Administration to begin reviewing the health effects of e-cigarettes.

Starting today, vaping and e-cigarette use will be banned from spaces where smoking already is prohibited in Colorado.

The Clean Indoor Air Act passed more than a decade ago and banned indoor smoking of tobacco in businesses, including restaurants, hotels and hospitals. House Bill 1076 now expands the scope of the act to include electronic smoking devices, known as e-cigarettes or ESDs.

The bill also increases the radius of an “entryway,” the area around the doorway to a building where smoking is not permitted, from a minimum of 15 feet to a minimum of 25 feet.

Kiera Hatton, the government affairs consultant for Vapor Source, a vape shop in Colorado Springs, said the shop supports the new law.

“We don’t think that people should be vaping in restaurants, bars or around other people where smoke isn’t allowed,” Hatton said. “It’s simple etiquette.”

The law also requires vape and tobacco shops to include signage notifying customers that persons under the age of 18 are not allowed entry.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, about half of Colorado teens have tried vaping nicotine, and that’s double the national average.

“We do agree that our stores should be 18-plus,” Hatton said. “That is one of the many ways that we can help keep vapes out of the hands of teens.”

Noah Leuer, Vapor Source’s compliance director, worries the law will inconvenience the day-to-day shopping of customers with children.

“If they’re driving around with their kids running errands during the day, we don’t want them to leave their children in the car when they enter our business,” Leuer said. “So that’s going to be the biggest concern.”

Vape shops will have until Oct. 1 to adhere to the new law.

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@JessySnouwaert

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