LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Correction: When the story aired, I incorrectly named the Broken Coil Vape Lounge by calling it Burning Coil.
A bill that would change the regulations on where people can vape and use medical marijuana has passed the Oklahoma House.
If it becomes law, it would modify the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act.
The original smoking in public places act made it illegal to smoke cigarettes in any indoor workplace, excluding places like bars and casinos. Now House Bill 1389 is looking to add electronic cigarettes to that act.
“It’s just that people aren’t considerate with how they use it. So if you can’t smoke like outdoors in that place, then you shouldn’t vape there,” said Matthew Cruz.
At the Broken Coil Vape Lounge, one of their employees said he enjoys being able to work at a place where he can vape. He says the biggest problem with this bill is that it group cigarettes and vapes together.
“I believe HB 1389 is a little unfair towards the vaping community. I see that vaping is really frowned upon by the general public. It’s not the same as smoking, it’s totally different. Even the smell it produces is totally different," said Jesus Uribe.
Another new aspect this bill would include is banning smoking medical marijuana in public. TSET’s director Sandy Foster said the places this bill won’t cover might now see an increase in marijuana usage.
“The likelihood of being able to smoke marijuana in those places is there. It’s not illegal at that point. If they include it in the definition of tobacco,” said Sandy Foster.
Foster said that this bill wasn’t even TSET’s radar, because they are focused on another house bill that would ban smoking in places where it’s currently allowed.
“All of those loopholes that currently exist in our smoking laws are still going to exist,” said Foster.
Cruz has been vaping for five years now, and says that over time he's began to understand that some people just don't want to be around smoke or vapor, regardless of the location.
“I know if I didn’t smoke, I really don’t want to breathe it in as I walk through the door. So you know the policy with 50 feet away from the building should be adhered to at all times for smoking and vaping,” said Cruz.
It passed the house 94-1, and now waits on voting in the Senate.