Friday, July 5th is the 9th anniversary of Wisconsin’s Smoke-Free Air Law. It’s hard to believe the law was once thought of as controversial since today it is a basic expectation that businesses be smoke-free.
As great as Wisconsin’s smoke-free air law is, it’s not perfect. E-Cigarettes were not an issue when the law took effect, and as a result, weren’t included in the state’s Smoke-Free Air Law. Many Wisconsin communities are passing ordinances prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Everyone should have the same protection from the secondhand aerosol.
How do e-cigarettes give off aerosol? E-cigarettes heat and vaporize a solution that typically contains nicotine. The devices are metal or plastic tubes that contain a cartridge filled with a liquid that is vaporized by a battery-powered heating element. The aerosol is inhaled by the user when they draw on the device, as they would a regular tobacco cigarette, and the user exhales the aerosol into the environment.
“If you are around somebody who is using e-cigarettes, you are breathing an aerosol of exhaled nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds, and other toxins.” said Mary Boe of Western Wisconsin Working for Tobacco-Free Living.” Everyone has the right to breathe clean air, and that includes air free from e-cigarettes.”
We are thankful for Wisconsin’s Smoke-Free Air law, and it is time to also make businesses free of secondhand aerosol too.
If you or someone you know is interested in quitting free help is available by calling the Wisconsin tobacco quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).