There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. The sights, the sounds, the satisfying throat hit… But when nature calls and you’re interested in taking in a little more than just the fresh air, you may want to reconsider whipping out your beloved e-cig if you happen to be hanging out at a National Park.
In the latest effort to eliminate nicotine product usage, the National Parks Service has banned all electronic cigarette devices and vaporizers within all U.S. national parks. Not that e-cigarettes pose any more risk to starting forest fires than, say a flashlight, this was recently put into action.
Mirroring the law that decided the fate of traditional cigarettes (you know, because they’re lit by matches and lighters; both of which are proven to conveniently start fires), the ban prohibits all electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) on National Park property, including concessions and government-operated facilities and vehicles. Effective immediately, the policy change was handed down by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. In a statement released to the media, Jarvis explained how the new measure serves the greater good because “protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service. We are therefore extending the restrictions currently in place protecting visitors and employees from exposure to tobacco smoke to include exposure to vapor from electronic smoking devices.”
As of the publishing of this article, when searched, the National Park Service’s website concerning their general Smoking Policy, the information was anything but specific. And given the difficulty to fully comprehend much of the new regulations imposed upon the e-cig industry, this will only further the debated discord of categorizing all nicotine products under the sole umbrella of such a widespread falsehood. Such an effort, in the eyes of many, is seen as one that is both misrepresented and without probable cause. Then again, such is the erroneous nature of these broad, ill-informed explanations when released on behalf of products that have never contained tobacco in them whatsoever.
At South Beach Smoke, we fully acknowledge and will always adhere to regulations that are not only the way of the walk when it comes to protecting citizens rightfully, but is acknowledged as standard practice. However, when allocated in ways that does not take into consideration the true intent of the products in question, and even going as far as to mislabel them correctly to create rules, we have no choice but to call out such malpractices in order to rectify them. Restricting the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces, such as the National Parks seems fishy, and outright wrong. Their basis for this new restriction is uncalled for, and somewhat alienating, considering what e-smoking consists of. Yes, we understand their stance of protection toward the landscapes and the wellbeing of their patrons and employees, however there are way more important ways to maintain a respectful level of accommodation, without propagating falsehoods.
So yeah… pardon our PSA, enjoy your hike and don’t forget to keep those e-cigs outta the parks!