WASHINGTON — It will soon be against the law to puff on an electronic cigarette indoors in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The county executive says he’ll support the County Council’s ban, but it does not apply everywhere.
Without federal or state guidelines, it’s up to local governments to regulate electronic cigarette use, which is why Prince George’s County Council member Todd Turner says he introduced his bill to ban them indoors.
It passed the council Tuesday by an 8-to-1 vote.
Turner says the bill’s aim is to limit people’s exposure to the vapor, similar to measures against public tobacco smoking that seek to limit secondhand smoke exposure.
But an amendment to the bill proposed by council member Derrick Leon Davis exempts National Harbor’s new MGM Casino from the ban, a move he says protects future businesses in the county.
“Instead of prohibiting things and trying to open up the door, we left the door open and we’ll leave it open for discussion as we move forward,” Davis says.
Turner say his understanding of the amendment was to fashion policy that doesn’t impact the workers and the consumers when MGM opens next year.
“So we have a little time to maybe look back at this during the legislative year next year to find a better solution than just an outright exemption for MGM and their property,” Turner says.
People still have the right to use e-cigarettes in their homes and in areas where the use of tobacco is allowed, Turner says.
If approved, the ban would go into effect early next year.
MGM Casino could not be reached for comment.