Gov. Markell signs bill expanding Delaware’s Clean Indoor Air Act.
The new law, which will take effect in 90 days, extends Delaware’s indoor smoking ban to include electronic smoking devices, which are defined as: “any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other similar substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the product”.
Getting the legislation passed was a bipartisan effort and endorsed by the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Nemours, the state Division of Public Health and the Delaware Restaurant Association.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell declared, “Adding e-cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act protects the public from toxic emissions and sends a message, particularly to our youth, that nicotine in any form is not safe. Signing this legislation supports other efforts made during my administration to ensure our air is cleaner and our people are healthier.”
Delaware’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which banned smoking in restaurants, bars and other indoor public places, was first passed in 2002 and signed by then governor Ruth Ann Minner.
An environmental toxicologist and sponsor of the bill, Rep. Deborah Heffernan, D-Brandywine Hundred South, said, “…my fellow legislators agreed that, just like cigarette smoke, Delawareans have a right not to be exposed to those chemicals secondhand. With this law in place, our state is once again leading the way on this important public health issue.”
Citing new data on risks of e-cigarettes, the California Department of Public Health declared them a “community health threat” this past January.
Delaware joins Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah and New Jersey in banning electronic smoking devices and at least 41 other states that have passed legislation prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.