SANTA FE (KRQE) – A trip to the movies inspired a state senator to try and update New Mexico’s indoor smoking ban to include e-cigarettes.
Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, says he noticed people smoking in the theater and realized that it remained legal under state law. Currently, smoking is not allowed inside most buildings in the state to protect the public from second-hand smoke.
No similar prohibitions exist on e-cigarettes but SB 289 would apply the same rules to vaping.
“There’s a lot of concern and I think the science isn’t clear yet whether the vapor from these products may be harmful to the rest of us who don’t wish to be inhaling them,” said Cervantes. “We ought to b able to go to public places like a movie theater and not have to be able to breath in those types of substances.”
The same exceptions that apply for smoking would also apply to vaping. Smoking is still allowed inside places like private homes and apartments, casinos and private clubs.
Other states including Delaware, Oregon and North Dakota have similar laws on e-cigarettes.
The bill’s introduction comes with half of the session already done. Given the lack of time, it’s unlikely though far from impossible for it to make it into law this year.