According to Newsday, the National Parks Service is ready to formally ban Vaping in various areas and buildings at national parks.
According to NPS spokesman Jeffrey Olson, The proposed rule would put Vapers on the same level as smokers, permitting superintendents of the parks to determine where and when to enact the bans.
The parks service formally banned cigarette smoking in 1983, but only has vaping listed as a policy since 2015, the new change would make it a rule instead of just policy.
“We’ve never banned smoking in national parks, there are some areas where superintendents say ‘No,’” Olson said.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations and the National Seashores policies, smoking and vaping are both banned in any government buildings as well as anywhere within 25 feet of them. The ban also is put in place for decks, boardwalks, and beaches that have lifeguards.
“The only time there might be a park-wide ban on smoking was if the fire danger is really high, but if something like that happens, we’re banning campfires and cooking fires, it’s not about smoking but fire danger,” Olson said.
Currently vaping is not under the definition of smoking, the new rule change would include vaping in that definition.
The proposal comes at a time when the surgeon general announced that a drastic leap in vaping by teenagers and young adults has caused more damage. Vaping is the act of inhaling “aerosolized nicotine, flavorants, chemicals, and other particulates.”
There will be a public comment period for the new vaping rule which will end on March 7, Those comments will be reviewed and responded to before the new rule is formalized.