National Park Service Bans Electronic Cigarettes
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
The National Park Service made a huge announcement Monday when it took a stance on electronic cigarettes by banning them from any national park area where smoking is prohibited.
In a report from Steven Nelson of USNews.com, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis made the decision to ban electronic cigarettes inside the service’s buildings and vehicles, as well as anywhere outside where superintendents choose to place the restrictions.
Jarvis told USNews.com, “Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service. We are therefore extending the restrictions currently in place protecting visitors and employees from exposure to tobacco smoke to include exposure to vapor from electronic smoking devices.”
While Jarvis said the decision was made in order to protect people’s health, electronic cigarette supporters are arguing against the ban. American Vaping Association trade group president Gregory Conley is at the forefront of the battle.
Conley told Nelson, “Outdoor smoking bans in parks can at least somewhat be justified by the risk of fires, but vapor products pose no more of a fire risk than a cellphone battery. This behavior is shameful and any enforcement of the ban will constitute a great misuse of government resources. The National Park Service should leave ex-smokers alone and let them camp and hike in peace.”
The report claims that it is unclear if electronic cigarettes have ever caused a wildfire, but the numbers show normal cigarettes are a major hazard outdoors. A study from 2000 to 2011 found that smokers of normal cigarettes caused almost 1,000 fires that burnt an estimated 20,000 acres and cost $22 million to put out.
More by Donald Wood
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Airlines & Airports
Features & Advice
Destination & Tourism