S.414 which now awaits a debate on the Senate floor, would make it illegal for local governments to enforce regulations on tobacco products including vapes. “I think we need to provide some consistency to the folks that are selling it, or if these products are bad, then they need to be banned statewide,” said Sen. Shane Martin, R – Spartanburg.
The regulations in question would include setting no-smoking areas or zoning ordinances to ban smoke or vape sales in certain places, such as within a certain distance from areas frequented by minors. “[If] It’s a legal product and they ban the sale of it in their locality, I worry that we give children an incentive, ‘Well, man, this must be the stuff to have because they banned it,’” said Martin.
However, other lawmakers feel that the bill restricts the freedom of local governments. “It is an infringement on home rule, versus you’ve got the idea that commerce in South Carolina ought to be uniform,” Senate Minority Leader Brad Hutto, D – Orangeburg, said.
Alabama may ban vaping in cars with children
Meanwhile, a proposed Alabama bill would set a ban on smoking and vaping in cars with children. Filed by Representative Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham, the aim of the bill is protecting children from second hand smoke and vapour. “Let’s love on our kids and keep them healthy. Their little lungs with the secondhand smoke won’t be able to handle that, so I say let’s just keep our babies healthy,” said Hollis.
Hollis had tried to pass this bill twice before. In 2020, it had overwhelming bi-partisan support in the house but never made it through senate. This time round, it will be debated in March during the Alabama legislative session.
South Carolina’s Proposed House Bill 3681