A proposal to treat e-cigarettes like regular cigarettes is moving through the legislature.
The bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Linda Lopez would add e-cigs to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, making it illegal to use them anywhere regular cigarette-smoking is prohibited including businesses open to the public.
Proponents say it would reduce health risks for workers, but those against it are worried the ban could hurt businesses at state-run casinos.
“We’re looking at a big market of people who don’t smoke and don’t want to be exposed to second-hand smoke,” said Sandra Adondakis with the New Mexico Cancer Action Center.
“They could ask to be moved to the non-smoking area, and I think it will create a hardship on our casinos in direct competition with tribal casinos,” Rep. Gail Armstrong, R-Magdalena, said.
That bill passed the Health and Human Services Committee and still has a couple more committees to get through before heading for a full Senate vote.