Don't Toke on Those E-Cigs in a National Park

Because they're now officially banned, for health and fire-safety reasons
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2015 8:40 AM CDT
Don't Toke on Those E-Cigs in a National Park
In this July 23, 2014, photo, a man blows smoke from his advanced personal vaporizer e-cigarette in Columbia, Mo.   (AP Photo/The Columbia Daily Tribune, Nick Schnelle)

If you have the urge to vape, you won't be doing it at Valley Forge—or at any other national park anymore, thanks to a new ban on e-cigarettes put in place yesterday by the National Park Service. Per US News & World Report, the NPS is nixing the electronic smoking devices anywhere in the parks where regular smoking is prohibited, pointing to the possibility of health risks (a still-debated topic) and the chance of fires starting from the devices' batteries.

An NPS memo says the mandate was enacted "out of an abundance of caution in light of … scientific findings and uncertainty to date, and in the interest of equity," citing what US News frames as "disputed findings" that mention the emission of formaldehyde and an antifreeze chemical in e-cigarette vapor. The president of the American Vaping Association's take: The ban is ridiculous. "Vapor products pose no more of a fire risk than a cellphone battery," he tells the magazine, not addressing the health concerns. "This behavior is shameful. … The National Park Service should leave ex-smokers alone and let them camp and hike in peace." (Tell California that vaping is A-OK, because the state doesn't believe it.)

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