Electronic cigarette users will have to take their vapors outdoors after this weekend.
The Clark County ordinance restricting the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and places of employment goes into effect Monday. The ordinance, approved by the county board of health on April 30, subjects e-cigarettes and other vaping devices to the same restrictions as tobacco cigarettes under the state’s Smoking in Public Places law.
The one exception under the ordinance is stores that exclusively sell vaping devices and supplies.
Specialty vape shops can allow customers to try the devices and sample liquid nicotine flavors, but the stores must have independent ventilation systems that prevent the vapors from making it into neighboring businesses.
Under the county ordinance, vaping devices cannot be used in public places and places of employment, nor can they be used within 25 feet of doors, windows or ventilation intakes.
Smoking and vaping are also prohibited in outdoor service areas, such as patio seating areas and beer gardens, if employees work in or pass through the areas while on duty, according to Clark County Public Health.
Businesses must post “No smoking, no vaping” signs at each entrance and other prominent locations in the building. Clark County Public Health is offering free signs for local businesses; call 360-397-8000 ext. 7378.
Compliance with the state Smoking in Public Places law and the Clark County ordinance is the responsibility of the person in charge of an area open to the public or a place of employment. Clark County Public Health will enforce the laws for businesses. Local law enforcement will address individuals violating the laws.
Employees, customers and other members of the public can confidentially report violations to the health department online, www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/concern.html, or by calling 360-397-2550 and leaving a message with the business name, address and time of the violation.
People who violate the laws by smoking, vaping or destroying a sign can receive a civil fine of up to $100. Businesses violating the laws will receive an initial warning and notice for correction. If the violation continues, the business can be fined up to $100 per day.