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Vaping Banned in All Boulder County Public Housing

Colorado is well known for its liberal policies on smoking. After all, marijuana is fully legalized and the state generally turns a blind eye to public consumption. However, the Boulder County Housing Authority is cracking down on the rules in the 611 rental properties. Effective August 17, a new policy prohibits vaping anywhere on the premises of public housing authority properties.

Smoking has been banned in these properties since 2008, but local lawmakers decided it was time to amend the current rules to include electronic cigarettes since they are rapidly growing in popularity. While the smoking ban made sense, the vaping rules seem kind of pointless. After all, tobacco cigarettes are a fire hazard and secondhand smoke is a serious health risks. But vaping eliminates both the need to use a flame and the secondhand smoke. So why should it be banned?

The updated policy prohibits tenants and guests from “either the carrying, smoking, burning, inhaling, or exhaling of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarettes, hookah, weed, herbs, incense, or any other lighted smoking equipment, or the use of an electronic smoking or vapor smoking device.”

Officials claim the ban wasn’t based on any complaints. It was just a new initiative to improve conditions and protect the health of people living in the public housing properties. Of course, the County Commissioners didn’t offer any public forum on the decision. In fact, Commissioners Deb Gardner and Elise Jones approved the vaping ban without ever having a public hearing at all.

As the new vape-free policy takes effect this weekend, you have to wonder how it will ever be enforced. After all, ecig vapor doesn’t leave an odor behind and the actual vapor evaporates quickly. Unless a property manager spots a tenant vaping outside, it would be almost impossible to detect if someone uses an e-cigarette. Of course, tenants that do get caught violating the rules could potentially face eviction so it’s definitely a risk to vape even in the privacy of your own home in Boulder County’s public housing.

Do you think this vaping ban is senseless? Have the County Commissioners gone too far?

Electronic Cigarettes • April 5, 2017

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