Tuesday, March 22, 2011

E Cigarettes: State Laws & More

What is electronic smoking? Is it legal? Can I vape where others are smoking traditional cigarettes?

These and other similar questions are fielded by us here at LiteCig USA so often that we’ve decided to compile a comprehensive list of laws and information so you can safely use your personal vaporizer and know your rights!

Since smoking e cigs is considered the same as smoking traditional cigarettes here in the U.S, many of the pre-existing smoking regulations still apply. For example, if your city prohibits smoking within 10 feet of a store or restaurant entrance, you must comply even if smoking an electronic cigarette.

No Ban Laws

Some states have no statewide tobacco laws. These states include: Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Generally, it is up to the manager of the facility to post smoking rules and designated areas, however, some counties or cities have specific regional regulations that you must comply with. For example, even though Texas does not have restrictive laws on smoking, Austin (the state’s capital) prohibits smoking within bars and restaurants and requires smokers to be at least 10 feet from any entrance.

Bars/Restaurants Exempt Laws

The following states have statewide laws on smoking; however, smoking is permitted in bars and restaurants: Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Arkansas has a statewide ban on smoking in all enclosed spaces not including bars. Make sure you are familiar with local laws as individual cities may have their own regulations!

Bars/Restaurants Non-Exempt Laws

Non-exempt laws mean that smoking is prohibited in bars and restaurants – that is, bars and restaurants are not exempt from these laws. States that have these laws include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The state of Arizona has a statewide ban of smoking in enclosed workplaces and within 20 feet of an entrance of a workplace. This includes bars and restaurants and exempt in private residences, tobacco stores, private clubs and outdoor patios. Be sure to check with the specific city or country in which you are staying as they may have specific local laws surrounding the use of tobacco products!

Although many of these laws have been in effect for quite some time, it is important to stay up-to-date with any changes in the legality of smoking so that you are able to enjoy your electronic cigarette safely and legally. For example, just recently the city of New York changed their regulations to prohibit smoking in public parks, beaches, boardwalks, pedestrian plazas, public pools, and recreation centers. Be knowledgeable of your state’s laws, and if you are traveling with your e-cigarettes be sure to brush up on the local laws of your destination!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Traveling with Electronic Cigarettes

Although electronic cigarettes have been on the market for about ten years, the laws and regulations surrounding them are oftentimes vague or undefined which can cause problems during travel. We have compiled some frequently asked questions regarding air travel with e cigs to make sure you have all the necessary information when taking a trip with your personal vaporizer!

Can I take e liquids on the place?

Per TSA rules, you can take any liquids on the aircraft (including cigarette liquids) as long as they are 3.4 oz or less. Make sure that your e liquids are stored in a container that is commercially labeled with the volume of the liquid (3.4 oz or 100mL). Make sure to place the e liquid in a clear Ziploc or plastic bag with any other liquids you may have (shampoo, etc).

What about batteries?

Batteries are allowed in checked luggage, but are usually frowned upon in carry-on bags. We recommend storing batteries with your personal vaporizer parts and dispatching it to avoid any problems.

Can I carry my vaporizer on the plane? What about using it?

Up until recently, most airlines did not have restrictions on the use of electronic cigarettes in the aircraft; however, this is changing and as of spring 2011 the Department of Transportation is to institute an official ban on the use of e cigs in planes.

Of course, you can still travel with your PV, but we recommend packing it in checked luggage to avoid any issues or run-ins with TSA agents. Invest in a quality cigarette travel case which can securely store your PV, atomizers, cartridges, charger and all other parts or pieces. Alternately, if you purchased an electronic cigarette kit, these usually come with some sort of case or package which you can use to store your belongings for flights.

If you use your vaporizer frequently and know that you’ll need a smoke upon landing, you are still legally allowed to pack e cigs in your carry on. Be sure to disassemble the vaporizer and pack each part (atomizer, cartridge, etc) separately.

What items are prohibited?

The TSA has a comprehensive list of prohibited items at TSA: Prohibited Items. We also recommend checking in with your airline to see if they have any specific rules (American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta, Jetblue)! As far as international carriers are concerned, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Japan Airlines and KLM have all announced that e cigarette use is not allowed on their flights although passengers may store their vaporizers in dispatched luggage.