On Monday, smoking bans across Florida extended to vaping.
In workplaces and Gainesville facilities where smoking is banned, vaping will now be prohibited as well because of Florida Senate Bill 7012, Chip Skinner, the city of Gainesville’s spokesperson, said.
While vaping is relatively new compared to cigarettes, a ban has been in discussion since vapes and e-cigarettes entered the market, Skinner said. There has been some debate on both the city and state level about whether these laws should include this new technology.
Lawmakers decided vaping is another form of smoking, and it made sense to limit secondhand vapors in the same way there have been attempts to eliminate secondhand smoke, Skinner said.
“People just need to be aware that anywhere where smoking was prohibited in the past, it would be a good idea to not vape there either so that they don't risk getting a ticket,” Skinner said.
Violators of this law will be issued a civil fine, Jorge Campos, spokesperson for the Gainesville Police Department, said.
The amount of the ticket depends on whether violators have broken this law before, and if so, it will also depend on the number of times they have broken it, Campos said.
Campos said the new law will not be something which they actively enforce and will instead depend on complaint calls from business owners about people who have broken this law and would not stop when asked to, Campos said.
However, most owners choose to have the person removed from their property and issue a trespass warning instead, so when the police respond to these complaints, this is usually the route they take, Campos said.
“It's almost exactly the same as smoking, and though the law before exclusively identified and defined what smoking indoors was, this evolution of the vape meant that they needed to amend the law to prohibit this activity as well,” Campos said.