SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – You can’t smoke cigarettes or cigars inside most public buildings in New Mexico, and soon, the increasingly popular e-cigarette might be added to that list.
Tuesday afternoon the Senate passed a bill that would add e-cigarettes to the state’s clean indoor air act.
“So all we’re doing is adding those potentially harmful effects of second hand smoke from vaping and second hand aerosoling, is kind of the technical words that’s being used,” Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, said.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Cisco McSorley. He wants to keep e-cigarettes from being smoked inside most public buildings.
The bill met opposition in both of the committees it went through to get the full Senate Tuesday afternoon.
That was the case again on the floor where several senators voiced concerns about a side detail of the bill. It changes the definition of what’s considered “indoors” from a place with four walls and a ceiling to a place with just two walls and a ceiling.
Some lawmakers argued this part of the bill isn’t clear enough and could hurt businesses.
“By changing what you’re defining as an indoor area has changed it for some companies and businesses, small businesses,” Sen. Mark Moores, R-Bernalillo, said.
“I own a self service car wash that has a ceiling, it has a floor and it has two walls, so it looks to me like if you come to my car wash now, you can’t smoke an e-cigarette,” Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen, said.
The bill passed with a vote of 30 to 10. It’s on to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Sen. McSorley said he is open to the House tweaking the bill so that it can get more support.
E-cigarettes may be the focus of the bill, but it also adds marijuana and hookah to the list of what can’t be smoked inside.