Last week the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that there may be a Louisville vape ban that will apply to vape shops. The vapor ban includes smoking and that is a threat to Louisville’s hookah bars. Obviously if you go into a hookah bar you go in as an informed consumer knowing there is going to be hookah smoke. Any ban would essentially force the bar to close. In addition, imagine a vape shop where you can’t vape! It would seem that these bans might be going a bit too far.
One can understand why smoking would be banned in any public indoor setting. That only makes sense. If city officials don’t want people vaping on public transportation or buildings we get that. Although there are a number of studies that seem to indicate that second hand vapor is relatively harmless, seeing vape clouds on the bus during your morning commute might make people uncomfortable. So, not vaping in public vehicles and buildings would be a common courtesy if nothing else. But this potential Louisville vape ban could also apply to vape shops.
Mayor Greg Fischer said that support for restricting the use of e-cigs and hookah in public settings is growing. This ban has been talked about for a while but last week the Courier-Journal was able to access a 77 page report that was sent to Louisville Mayor and Council. The report contained numerous letters from organizations such as Heart Association and Lung Association urging Louisville council to adopt the ban.
Vaping business owners may have to fight for an exemption. The exemption may be difficult to get considering the manner in which the health department wants to define ‘smoking’. Indeed they do want to include vaping in the definition of smoking.
This is a call to action for Kentucky vapers especially those in Louisville. A Louisville vaping ban could cause your favorite vape shops to be forced to close their doors. Jobs will be lost and vapers will be further marginalized. The public will move further toward associating vaping with smoking. Vapers in Louisville need to call their council member and mayor. Educate them that vaping is not smoking. make sure they know that this ban will cost jobs and limit options for people.
Keep an eye out for any organized effort that may be led by local vape shops. Help Louisville’s vape shops get an exemption from any potential Louisville vape ban.