PA 15-206—sHB 6283

Public Health Committee

AN ACT REGULATING ELECTRONIC NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEMS AND VAPOR PRODUCTS

SUMMARY: This act imposes restrictions on the use of “electronic nicotine delivery systems” and “vapor products” (“e-cigarettes”) in certain establishments and public areas that are similar to existing restrictions on smoking tobacco products in such areas. In doing so, it:

1. prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in state buildings, restaurants, places serving alcohol, schools, child care facilities, and health care facilities, among other areas;

2. makes exceptions for e-cigarette use in certain areas and facilities, including designated smoking areas, tobacco bars, and outdoor areas in establishments serving alcohol;

3. permits hotel and motel operators to allow e-cigarette use in up to 25% of their rooms;

4. requires, in areas where e-cigarette use is prohibited, signs to that effect;

5. establishes penalties for violations of the act; and

6. specifies that nothing in the act requires the designation of an area in a building for e-cigarette use.

Under the act, the Public Health Committee must hold a hearing to determine whether any state legislation is needed after the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalizes a rule that could impose federal regulations on e-cigarettes.

Finally, the act specifies that it supersedes and preempts municipal laws and ordinances on e-cigarette use.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

ELECTRONIC NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEMS AND VAPOR PRODUCTS

Under the act and existing law, an “electronic nicotine delivery system” is an electronic device used to simulate smoking in delivering nicotine or another substance to a person who inhales from it.  Such systems include electronic (1) cigarettes, (2) cigars, (3) cigarillos, (4) pipes, (5) and hookahs. It also includes related devices, cartridges, or other components.

A “vapor product” uses a heating element;  power source;  electronic circuit;  or other electronic, chemical, or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, to produce a vapor the user inhales.  The vapor may or may not include nicotine.

E-CIGARETTE USE IN CERTAIN ESTABLISHMENTS AND PUBLIC AREAS

Where Use Is Prohibited

The act generally prohibits e-cigarette use in the following places:

1. buildings owned or leased and operated by the state or its political subdivisions,

2. health care institutions,

3. retail food stores,

4. restaurants (see below),

5. places that serve alcohol under specified permits (see below),

6. school buildings during school or student activities,

7. specified child care facilities (see below),

8. passenger elevators,

9. dormitories at public or private higher education institutions, and

10. dog race tracks or facilities equipped with screens for simulcasting off-track betting racing programs or jai alai games.

Under the act, a restaurant is a space, in a suitable and permanent building, kept, used, maintained, advertised, and held out to the public as a place where meals are regularly served to the public.

E-cigarette use is prohibited in establishments that serve alcohol under the following permits: university; hotel; resort; restaurant; café; juice bar; tavern; railroad; airline; coliseum or coliseum concession; special sporting facility; nonprofit theater or public museum; airport; or airport restaurant, bar, concession, or airline club. E-cigarette use is also prohibited in (1) any club issued a permit after May 1, 2003 to serve alcohol and (2) the bar areas of bowling establishments that hold such a permit.

Additionally, under the act, a “child care facility” is a child day care center, group or family day care home, or any child care facility that must be licensed by the Department of Children and Families. The act specifies that the prohibition on e-cigarette use in family day care homes applies only when a child enrolled in day care is present.

Exceptions

Under the act, the prohibition on e-cigarette use does not apply to:

1. correctional facilities;

2. designated smoking areas in psychiatric facilities;

3. public housing projects;

4. classrooms, during e-cigarette demonstrations that are part of a medical or scientific experiment or lesson;

5. employee smoking rooms provided by employers;

6. outdoor portions of places serving alcohol, under certain circumstances (see below); and

7. tobacco bars, provided they do not expand or change their location as of October 1, 2015.

Establishments serving alcohol where using e-cigarettes is generally prohibited under the act may allow e-cigarette use in outdoor areas (i. e. , areas with no roof or other ceiling enclosure). If they choose to do so, they must prohibit e-cigarette use in at least 75% of outdoor areas where food is served and designate such areas with a “nonsmoking” sign. Any temporary seating area for special events in such establishments is not subject to the prohibition on e-cigarette use or signage requirements.

Under the act, a “tobacco bar” is a bar that has a permit to sell alcohol and, in the calendar year ending December 31, 2015, generated 10% or more of its annual gross income from on-site tobacco product sales and humidor rentals.

The act also permits hotel, motel, or similar lodging operators to allow guests to use e-cigarettes in up to 25% of rooms offered as guest accommodations.

Signage

In each room, elevator, area, or building in which e-cigarette use is prohibited by the act, the person in control of the premises must post or have someone post a sign indicating that state law prohibits e-cigarette use. Generally, the signs must have letters at least four inches high with principal strokes at least one-half inch wide. The act exempts elevators, restaurants, establishments that serve alcohol, hotels, motels, other lodgings, and healthcare institutions from the letter-size requirements.

Penalties

Under the act, a person commits an infraction if he or she is found guilty of (1) using an e-cigarette where prohibited by the act, (2) failing to post required signs, or (3) removing the signs without authorization. The act specifies that a person may be arrested for using an e-cigarette in an elevator only if there is a sign indicating that such use is prohibited.

HEARING FOLLOWING FINAL FDA RULE

The act requires the Public Health Committee to hold a public hearing within 30 days after the finalization of the FDA's proposed rule on tobacco products deemed subject to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The federal act gives the FDA the authority to regulate cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and any other tobacco products that the FDA determines, by regulation, to be subject to the law. Part of the proposed FDA rule deems e-cigarettes to be tobacco products, thus subjecting them to many of the restrictions that currently apply to cigarettes (e. g. , requiring submission of ingredient lists and reporting of harmful and potentially harmful ingredients).

At the hearing, the committee must review the FDA rule and determine whether to recommend legislation on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in response to the rule.

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