Houston Takes a Step to Address Public Health Crisis

The City Council of Houston elected to ban vaping and make use of e-cigarettes in public areas illegal. The unanimous vote on March 30 increased an existing prohibition on smoking cigarettes in enclosed public rooms or offices, or within 25 feet of a structural entry, exit, outside field, or public transportation stops. You hate to see it in Texas.

The brand-new legislation includes digital cigarettes as well as cigars, vapes as well as any kind of various other devices that utilizes vapors or aerosol liquids to the list of traditional kinds of cigarette smoking.

“This is something that we’re voting on to protect the health and safety of people from secondhand inhalation,” said Councilmember Abbie Kamin during the meeting.

Houston started its 100%- smoke-free campaign in 2007.

“Unlike rolled cigarettes, e-cigarettes use electricity to vaporize nicotine solutions into an aerosol, which is inhaled and exhaled as a fine, smoke-like mist,” reports the Houston Chronicle. “Some argue the exhaled aerosol is ‘harmless water vapor,’ but secondhand vape ‘smoke’ still contains ultra-fine particles of nicotine, which can be inhaled by others.”

Smoking is unlawful in workplaces, fish tanks, and also bars along with other “enclosed public places” according to city files.

Semiprivate and exclusive spaces in assisted living home and also long-term care facilities in Houston are excluded from the restriction gave all of the space’s owners have actually requested in writing consent to smoke in the area.

Sometimes, specific encased conference locations in convention centers and also hotels are additionally spared from the cigarette smoking restriction as long as the event coordinators educate the city of their objective to permit cigarette smoking in their strategies.

In addition to updating the existing law, the Council seemed to be taking objective at the appeal of vape products among young Americans.

In 2018, the vaping industry had an approximated worth of over $14 billion. The marketplace is expected to go beyond $27 billion by 2027.

Millennials are reported to be one of the most likely age to utilize vapes or e-cigarette products. In 2020, data from the Centers for Disease Control as well as Prevention indicated that 19.6% (3.02 million) high institution students, as well as 4.7% (550,000), reported using e-cigarettes.

“Among current users of flavored prefilled pods or cartridges, the most commonly used flavor types were fruit (66.0%; 920,000); mint (57.5%; 800,000); menthol (44.5%; 620,000); and candy, desserts, or other sweets (35.6%; 490,000),” the agency reported. “Among current users of flavored disposable e-cigarettes, the most commonly used flavor types were fruit (82.7%; 650,000), mint (51.9%; 410,000); candy, desserts, or other sweets (41.7%; 330,000); and menthol (23.3%; 180,000).”

Charlie Gagen, the advocacy director of the American Lung Association of Texas, claimed digital smoking gadgets were accountable for modern-day tobacco usage among teenagers.

“Treating e-cigarettes as the tobacco products they are is a common sense step to addressing this public health crisis,” Gagen said in a statement to Houston Public Media.

Dr. Lindy McGee, a doctor at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant teacher at Baylor College of Medicine, accused the vapor cigarette business of marketing their items to teenagers during the city council’s public hearing on March 29.

“Using social media, youth-enticing flavors and highly addictive nicotine, they hooked this new generation on their product,” McGee said.

The adjustments to the restriction entered into immediate effect.

H/T Timcast

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