LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A senate committee will vote on a bill to ban vaping indoors next week. People who work in Southwest Florida have mixed feelings about the ban.
Nicole Tucker works at Bridgewater Inn in Matlacha. She said if she has to put out her cigarette when she goes indoors, so should people who vape.
“I don’t think that it’s right that they can smoke indoors anyway,” she said.
A smoking bill that would extend the ban to vaping indoors could make Tucker’s wish come true.
Florida voters passed the amendment back in November and now a senate committee will have the final say.
Bill 7012 says it’ll protect people from the health hazards of secondhand tobacco smoke and vapor. Tucker said she thinks the ban is a good idea.
“If there’s chemicals in it that the person vaping is breathing in, why wouldn’t someone standing here in the cloud of it also be breathing that in?” she asked.
But King of Vape manager Geoff Lyday said vaping isn’t as harmful as smoking cigarettes. He said he believes people who used vaping as a way to kick their cigarette addiction may revert to their old ways.
“They’re making it harder for people to do it, which is going to make people go to something that’s easier and more harmful,” he said.
Tucker said the ban wouldn’t affect their business since Bridgewater Inn doesn’t allow smoking of any kind.
“For employees we smoke outside anyway in non-common areas - off to the side away from the hotel anyway and we expect the guests to do the same,” she said.
The ban would prevent people from vaping in restaurants and other enclosed workplaces. People would still be able to vape in places where smoking is authorized like certain hotels and bars.