The Burning Question: To Ban or Not to Ban E-Cigarettes in Single-Family Housing?

Electronic Cigarettes

To ban, or not to ban e-cigarettes: that is the question landlords, business owners and city governments are asking themselves as the latest public health debate is becoming more than a smolder.

The Growing Controversy Surrounding Electronic Cigarettes

America’s growing glow of electronic cigarette usage and whether it’s a better option to smoking and all of the societal evils that go with a pack of smokes is fueling many headlines. Many who already have smoking bans in place are taking the conservative approach and erring on the side of caution by including e-cigs.

A number of U.S. cities are treating e-cigs as if they are the same public enemy No. 1 of real cigarettes. Los Angeles became the latest to ban vaping, joining five other cities and the District of Columbia.

Now, the FDA has now stepped in and wants to ultimately put e-cigs under a microscope.  In April, a new rule was proposed that would extend the agency’s tobacco authority to cover additional tobacco products. Included on the list are electronic cigarettes and water pipe (or hookah) tobacco. The rule would require producers to identify ingredients.

Should Smoking Bans Include Electronic Cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are not only under heavy scrutiny by the FDA, but how they affect the surrounding environment is making its way into other realms, like real estate and rental housing.  Landlords know well enough that cigarette smoke and tar build up can ruin walls, carpets, drapes and furnishings, and often require extensive cleanup time and expense. Although e-cigs are not known to produce tar, it is assumed they are less likely to damage the interior of a home.

For rental housing property owners and managers, the issue is whether or not to regulate e-cigarette smoking—an act that seemingly doesn’t possess the same offensive orders and potential smoke damage to a property—when a smoking ban is already in place. Should they be included in the ban? Should there be an exception?

Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below.


(Image source: Shutterstock)


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