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December Banning Report

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‘Tis the season for merriment, so we hope this month’s banning report isn’t completely reminiscent of coal in your stocking.

First we head to Newark, NJ, where the city council has approved a ban on “enclosed” public vaping, according to the Newark Advocate. Retail vapor stores and tobacco stores are exempt under the new law. Additionally, vaping will not be allowed in “areas adjacent to the entrances and exits of enclosed public spaces to ensure the vapors do not enter through doors, windows or ventilation systems.” Private residences; hotel and motel rooms rented to guests and designated as smoking rooms; family-owned and operated businesses not open to the public, with all employees related to the owner; outdoor patios; and drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities also are exempt from the ban.

27east.com reports that East Hampton Village, NY, officials have banned smoking and vaping in the village. Code had prohibited smoking in certain areas, but the new ordinance prohibits vaping on any public property owned by the village, like beaches, parking lots, village sidewalks, Herrick Park and beach pavilions. Violators will face fines of up to $250.

Newtown Borough, PA officials are mulling vaping to be added to the prohibition of smoking in the borough’s tobacco-free zones, reports Bucks Local News. Veterans Plaza, Brian Gregg Park, Linton Memorial Park and the news creek walk are among the areas considered. If passed, the amendment would give police the authority to seize vapes and to issue citations for use and possession. Warnings would come on first offense, followed by fines.

Independent Record reports that the Helena, MT, city commission is wanting to ban self-service displays for tobacco products except for where alcohol is sold and consumed and also limit flavored tobacco sales to adult-only tobacco retailers. Officials would like to fine offenders civilly in the proposed laws. Additionally, the commission wants to ban smoking and vaping within 30 feet of indoor public places. Derek Amburn, owner of Mountain Man Vapor, said at a public hearing that there is no evidence that vaping is harmful secondhand. He said the air quality in his shop “is no worse than ambient indoor air elsewhere, and that an ordinance declaring that no vaping or smoking could occur within 30 feet of an entrance to a business would make vaping impossible for him due to his business' close proximity to other shops.”

LIHerald.com reports that Hempstead, NY, officials unanimously approved legislation that requires businesses “to place signs at cash registers warning about the dangers of electronic aerosol delivery systems, including vapes and electronic cigarettes.” The jury is still out on if signs are the first step in a further ban.

In Gallatin, MT, the health board first took public comment regarding amending the smoking laws to include vaping, reports NBC Montana. They were not eyeing a total ban, just restricting them in public spaces. However, that led to a total indoor ban, according to Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Now, vaping indoors is a misdemeanor carrying fines between $25 and $100. Shop owners with three or more violations within three years will have fines between $100 and $500. And — this led to a lawsuit. Bozeman vape shop owners Ron and Deanna Marshall, owners of three Freedom Vapes stores, have filed a lawsuit against the Gallatin City-County Board of Health, alleging that they “stepped out of bounds when it approved including electronic nicotine devices into its Clean Indoor Air Act policy,” reports Belgrade News. The petition states that the stores’ business model “is structured so that customers can sample products in their shop to determine what flavor the customer wants to purchase.”