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Currently in many States in the USA and Provinces in Canada smoking and vaping are considered one in the same. You puff on a cigarette and a cloud comes out. You puff on an e-cigarette and a cloud comes out. To many by-standers this may appear to be the same however many people have noticed that when standing next to vapers that there is no smell and sometimes no vapor.
Shawn Thomas was arrested for vaping on a subway platform in NY under state law. This law does not specifically reference vaping. Shawn then challenged the charges and the judge agreed that the laws regarding smoking in public places cannot be applied to vaping as the two are different.
Smoking is in the inhalation of smoke of burning the tobacco in cigarettes, pipes or cigars. With e-cigarettes there is no flame, no combustion so therefore no burning and there is also no tobacco. E-cigarettes are vaporized e-liquids which contain propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food flavouring (unless no flavour is added) and nicotine (does not have to contain nicotine). Due to the method of this device and the contents, the judge ruled they are not the same and cannot be classified under the same law.
There is a large outcry for laws to distinguish between the two especially since there are numerous studies out there that show that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes. In fact Public Health England states that they are 95% safer than cigarettes!
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