New law: Vaping rights at workplace go up in smoke

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More than 100 laws went into effect Monday, and one of them impacts Florida fans of vaping.

Starting July 1, a law went into effect that carries out the will of voters who voted in November to end vaping inside the workplace.

According to Home Business, the global value of the vaping industry will reach $45 billion over the course of the next four years. But while the number of people vaping tobacco products continues to rise, the state of Florida is cracking down.

The legislation is an extension of the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act, which was designed in 1985 to improve indoor air quality for Floridians. The vaping ban expands existing language that bans smoking in indoor workplaces to include vaping tobacco products.

Among the top concerns of Tobacco Free Florida is normalizing indoor vaping will increase the number of youth tobacco users.

The Food and Drug Administration says e-cigarette use among high school students is up 78% in a year. In Florida, one in four high school students reports using e-cigarettes.

Earlier this year, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine published the results of a study on vaping. Their findings suggest “a link between the use of electronic cigarettes and the risk of development of mycobacteria-related lung infections”.

The infections can be significant and hard to treat. This is the latest in research reaffirming that there is no safe way to use tobacco products.

That said, there is evidence to support the idea that vaping is much safer than smoking cigarettes.

So, does second-hand vape really cause any significant damage?

Vaping advocates say “no way” but a small study by Wolfgang Schober of the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority casts doubt on that assertion.

Scientific American says of the findings, “vaping worsened indoor air quality, specifically by increasing the concentration of nicotine, particulate matter, PAHs and aluminum.” These compounds are linked with a number of health problems.

For millions of Florida workers, starting Monday they won’t have to worry about safety issues around vaping in the office place, and that’s a reason to breathe easier.

As for those who vape, they may have to start sharing outdoor smoking areas with traditional nicotine users, which is only a small inconvenience when compared to public health and safety.

Melissa S. Razdrih is a Tampa correspondent for Florida Politics. Razdrih graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa in 2006 and went on to earn a Master's degree before switching gears to write professionally. Since then, Razdrih has been published in national blogs, like PopSugar, and local publications, like Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, on everything from self-care to cryptocurrency, but politics is her passion. Contact her at melissarazdrih@me.com.

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