CONCORD – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), announces updated administrative rules related to the Indoor Smoking Act. The rules were amended as a result of legislative changes to include the use of e-cigarettes and devices in the Indoor Smoking Act’s definition of smoking.
“Tobacco use is a risk factor for many different diseases, including heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and various types of cancers,” said Dr. Sai Cherala, DPHS Bureau Chief of Population Health and Community Services. “It also puts people at higher risk for complications of COVID-19 because the disease creates negative outcomes for people with compromised respiratory symptoms. About 16% of adults in New Hampshire report use of tobacco products and one of the things users of tobacco can do to improve their health is to quit.”
The DHHS Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program can help people stop using tobacco and, help workplaces implement changes to be in compliance with the Indoor Smoking Act.
House Bill 511, which became law in 2019, modified the definition for “smoking” in NH Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA) 155:65;XV, of the Indoor Smoking Act. Under the new law, smoking is defined as having a lit cigarette, pipe, or any device designed to produce the effect of smoking, including devices as defined in RSA 126-K:2, II-a. Devices may include, but are not limited to, hookahs, e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, and vape pens.
The Indoor Smoking Act clarifies that all tobacco products are prohibited in enclosed workplaces and enclosed places accessible to the public. Specific businesses that might be impacted by the change include restaurants, bars, and vape shops.
The updated rules allow communities across the state to strengthen their efforts to regulate e-cigarette/vaping devices in public places. For more information, contact the NH Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program at TPCP@dhhs.nh.gov or 603-271-6891.