OAKLAND (KRON)– Today BART directors voted unanimously to ban electronic cigarettes on its trains and stations.
Smoking an e-cigarette, or vaping, hasn’t been previously regulated on BART.
BART spokesman Taylor Huckaby said that BART has been getting a lot of complaints from riders about secondhand smoke from electronic cigarettes.
There are no state or federal guidelines restricting the smoking of e-cigarettes, so the transit agency enacted an ordinance that allows them to enforce the restriction.
The American Lung Association and others backed the measure and said it’s important to protect the health of riders from secondhand vapors and particle pollution from e-cigarettes.
Other transit agencies in California have varied responses to electronic cigarettes, some ban them, but other agencies have chosen no action yet and are waiting for state or federal guidelines.
The BART ordinance takes effect immediately, but the agency won’t be enforcing it right away.
BART will first update its signs at its stations and on its trains to ensure that riders know about the ordinance.
BART police will first give out warning tickets to e-cigarette users and will eventually impose penalties of up to $100 for first-time violators and $200 for second-time offenders.
People who have three offences in five years will face a penalty of $500.
According to a BART staff memo, e-cigarettes were first developed as a traditional cigarette alternative in 2004 in China.
The memo continued to say that much like with traditional cigarettes, there’s concern about potential harm from second-hand exposure to the vapor e-cigarettes produce.