The Kansas attorney general introduced a bill Wednesday to add electronic cigarettes to the state's definition of smoking so that a prohibition on indoor consumption of tobacco could be extended to vaping.
In July 2010, Kansas enacted an indoor smoking ban for public spaces that included bars, restaurants, workplaces and other public venues. More recent controversy about health implications of vaping generated momentum for limiting public exposure to the devices and prompted calls for raising the state's minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21.
"We see no logical reason to protect indoor vaping in public places where indoor smoking is already prohibited by "law," said Attorney General Derek Schmidt. "Our proposal would update the law and close this loophole."
He said lawmakers likely didn't cover e-cigarettes a decade ago with the Clean Indoor Air Act because vaping hadn't taken hold yet as a trend.
Medical professionals believe secondhand vape aerosol particles, like secondhand smoke, are harmful to people who inhale them, he said. There has been a sharp increase in nicotine addiction through youth vaping, he said.
He said the state's response to growth in youth addiction to nicotine should be the indoor smoking ban and better enforcement of laws prohibiting deceptive marketing.