Presumably, the ban includes non-nicotine e-cigs. What is the rationale behind banning e-cigs that do not contain nicotine?
ISTR that when flavoured cigarettes were banned, clove cigarettes became ‘cigars’. Same thing, different name. When AR-15s were specifically banned (the first time, in California), Colt changed the name to ‘Sporter’. Same thing, different name. So suppose you vape with a non-nicotine e-liquid, and your e-cig is now called a ‘miniature fog machine’. You’re not inhaling a dangerous chemical, and you’re not using an ‘e-cig’. Does vaping in a park then become legal?
If you think that practical enforceability is a desireable quality in a law, then a ban on X, and on things that look like X and very well could be, can make sense. It’s only objectionable if the things that look like X but actually aren’t offer some benefit which exceeds the detriment of not being able to enforce the ban on X.
It has nothing to do with nicotine. Or logic for that matter. They’re getting banned simply because they contain the word ‘cigarette’ in their name. Because cigarettes are evil, and they’re not interested in making them safer, just getting rid of them. And I don’t even smoke…
So suppose a movie supply house sells e-cigs as ‘miniature, human-powered fog machines’ so that people can fog miniature sets when they’re doing animation. To prevent confusion, let’s specify that it looks like this, and not like a traditional cigarette. And suppose someone ensures the functionality of this piece of movie equipment in a park or other public place. Would he be in violation of the law? (I haven’t read any of the laws, so I don’t know if they specify electronic cigarettes; or if they are written broadly enough to also ban nebulisers.)
One of the only real public health concerns around e-cigs is whether non-smokers (and kids specifically) might end up using them as a gateway to real cigarettes. With that in mind, part of the issue may be the even if you’re “smoking” a non-nicotine e-cig, you’re still going through the motions of smoking and if any impressionable kiddos are around they might think it makes you look like a cool futuristic bounty hunter and want to try it themselves, eventually leading them down a path that leads to full nicotine e-cigs and even real ones.
I don’t necessarily agree with the rationale, but I’ll bet that the issue is some variation of the “won’t someone think of the children!” argument.