PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Vaping and use of other electronic tobacco delivery products are now banned in the workplace.
Gov. Gina Raimondo just signed a bill into law, adding the use of e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and similar products designed for electronic, vapor or aerosol delivery of nicotine, to the definition of “smoking” in the Public Health and Workplace Safety Act.
The act, originally passed in 2005, banned smoking in in nearly all enclosed areas of places that are open to the public, including private businesses, restaurants, most bars, public restrooms, athletic fields, health care facilities, shopping malls, bingo facilities, common areas of apartment buildings with more than four units and many other places.
The law – which took effect July 1 – creates exemptions for stores, other than mall kiosks, that primarily sell electronic nicotine delivery products and accessories, and for electronic smoking establishments, defined as establishments that sell food or alcohol, and make at least 33 percent of their revenue from the sale of electronic tobacco devices.
“In Rhode Island and nationwide, use of e-cigarettes by youth has surpassed use of conventional cigarettes. We must address newer forms of smoking, both to protect Rhode Islanders from secondhand smoke and to help address the misconception that those products are somehow not unhealthy,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio.