The great outdoors. Nature’s way of telling us to slow down, relax and immerse ourselves within its surroundings. Our nation’s National Parks are the perfect venue for a good time away from the concrete chaos, and it never hurts to have a little motivation in the chillax department with a good vape in hand. Yet the aforementioned is all fine and well, so long as the vape stays out of site – as in off-site.
As of now, the National Park Service has issued a ban on all electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), better known as e-cigs and vaporizers, within the U.S. National Parks system.
Put into action immediately, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis released a statement citing the health of visitors and employees as the goal behind this regulation. This law echoes the National Park’s stance on traditional cigarettes, which have been entirely banned from use on all National Park property. This extends to all government facilities, concessions, and vehicles. As noble of a regulation it may appear to be, it is misleading for a government agency to institute a law based on comparison to an entirely separate product, which is used in an entirely different manner.
What the National Parks Service fails to recognize is that the vapor emitted from ENDS, or electronic nicotine delivery systems, is an entirely separate, entirely different substance. It is not in any way, nor can it be classified in any way, as smoke. No tobacco is contained in these products, no tobacco is lit with fire, burned, or emitted in any way. If the aim was to legitimately protect guests and employees from smoke, (which is obviously proven to be dangerous) the measure should have been tailored to restrict smoke. Vapor, on the other has not, and it is an absolutely misrepresentation to classify it the same. Doing so removes options for visitors who choose not to smoke, yet still wish to enjoy an alternative product.
The bottom line here is that while e-cigarette regulations are necessary, particularly regarding e-cig regulations and public usage, it is a sad day when government entities create regulations that are based on erroneous assumptions, and leave users without options. Perhaps this is an instance that will get modified in the future. Until then, however, vapers will have to enjoy the National Parks vapor-less.