The National Park Service (NPS) has just announced that vaping is no longer allowed in any national park in the United States. Cigarettes have been banned from national parks for many years and for good reason — they start fires. However, as any vaper knows, vaping and the use of e-cigarettes is far different in its nicotine-delivery system — no fire is produced and dropping a vape mod or pen does not pose any danger in creating a fire.
However, the NPS has revised their regulations and have amended their definition of “smoking” to include “electronic cigarettes and all other electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS).
The acting director of the NPS is Michael Reynolds, who released a statement saying that “It is clear from a recent rule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a report by the Surgeon General that electronic cigarettes are a threat to public health, especially to the health of young people.”
This interference by the FDA, who wishes to continue to cash in on deadly cigarettes rather than the safer alternative of vaping, is creating ripples. From regulations to over-taxation of vaping products, the FDA has been shown to profit from cigarettes and smoking but are not receiving money from the government when telling the real truth about vaping — that it saves lives. Since the government is paid by big tobacco and lobbyists, it is not that difficult to see the bias here.
Unfortunately, departments like the National Park Service fall for everything the FDA says — since they are supposed to be trustworthy (and not bought out by big pharm, big tobacco, and politicians of federal government, like they really are).
How this Decision Makes No Sense
Based on the acting director of the NPS’s quote above, this banning of vaping in national parks makes no sense from a safety standpoint — the ban is not due to any danger of starting a fire — which is the only reason a ban should be implemented. In fact, vaping does not produce garbage like cigarettes do with thrown butts, nor does it use flame or produce smoke.
The decision to ban vaping at national parks is purely a political move. Their quote about their reasoning for banning vaping had no mention of park safety or fire safety — it merely showed that the NPS blindly trusts the FDA, and only banned vaping and e-cigarettes because they “are a threat to public health, especially to the health of young people.”
The NPS does not have a right to ban the safe practice of vaping because of their personal opinion. Alcohol, illegal drugs, and cigarettes is understandable to ban — however, banning vaping is purely a personal and political move that they don’t have any right to push onto the public who wishes to visit their parks.
The truth about e-cigs and vaping is that over and over, studies have shown them to be a much safer alternative to cigarettes both health-wise and environmentally. E-cigarette users are also likely to lower their risk of respiratory infections and pneumonia, not to mention lessen (and even eliminate) their dependency on smoking and nicotine.
And what of the vaping and e-cig products that do not even contain nicotine? Many do not, favoring CBD juice (which is quite legal in all 50 states) as well as aromatherapy liquids and waxes that are used to help in lung treatments. Vaping without nicotine is also used to help those who have quit smoking continue to beat their habit.
Vaping and using e-cigarettes in national parks is not an environmental safety issue or a public health concern in any way. Vaping in national parks does not impact the environment or health of any visitor.
What You Can Do
While the National Park Service has made their decision, they are actually still receiving public comments and opinions on this decision. They will continue to consider proposed revisions until March 7th, 2017.
What you can do to have your voice heard on the issue is clicking on the following link, where public comments can be submitted on the government regulations website. This could possibly sway their opinion. Regardless, make your voice heard on this ridiculous decision, where the NPS is poking their biased noses in on our personal liberties for politics and money.
Comment and read more about the NPS’s decision here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NPS-2017-0001-0001