CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated vapers could go to jail for vaping in public places. This was an older version of this ordinance. The new ordinance has been updated and exempts violators from going to jail.
On Tuesday, April 28, 2015 City of Boca Raton City Council agenda, the issue of vaping is back on the agenda. The City Council meets at 6:00 p.m.at 201 W Palmetto Park Rd in Boca Raton, Florida. Earlier this year the council tabled the issue as not enough information was at hand to make a decision and most people speaking before the city council were against the proposed ban. We suspect the item was put on the agenda for purposes of voting it down as the council member who originally introduced it earlier this year is no longer on the city council. The issue was supposed to be tabled until the Florida legislature ended its session (this Friday) or when additional research comes to light.
The proposal would ban using an e-cigarette in public places, similar to one found smoking a regular cigarette. Violators could be fined up to $500. Under state law, e-cigarettes are not permitted to be sold to minors.
Also at the last meeting where the issue was tabled, it was brought up that an influential Boca Raton business owner supported the proposed ordinance because his customers sometimes complain about those vaping around them. The business owner does not need the government to step in with fines and jail time, he is able to ban smoking in his establishments today, without the force of government. Supporters of such a measure can only be considered anti-free market and pro-statists.
Regular cigarettes contain tobacco and e-cigarettes do not. Many e-cigarette cartridges do not contain nicotine or any harmful compounds; yet, some apparently feel annoyed by the vape coming off an e-cigarette and thereby wishes to punish its users.
Much of the vaping hysteria has been debunked and is often perpetuated by people with severely limited knowledge of what e-cigarettes are. E-cigarettes are not tobacco products and should not be lumped in or considered the same.
Last year, a study found that vaping helps regular tobacco users reduce or eliminate their need for regular cigarettes. As the Washington Post pointed out, “In the meantime, government agencies have adopted an alarmist stance toward the use of e-cigarettes, based in part on factual claims that are demonstrably false.” Lastly, many assertions made in the ordinance wording have been proven to be false or, at the very least, are misleading.
Those seeking to email the city council about the issue can do so with the following emails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org.