THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — What use to only be a matter of waiting until you're 21 to legally buy a vape has now changed for Georgia users. As of July 1st, vaping in smoke free zones is illegal in Georgia.
"The most basic way to think about this legislation is that if there's a place in Georgia, you're not able to smoke an ordinary cigarette today, this legislation is meant to prevent you from vaping in those same locations," said Mazie Lynn Guertin, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Executive Director.
The new law aligns with Georgia's Smoke-Free-Air Act that went into play back in 2005 that supports preserving public health.
Guertin said the smoke-free-act is something legislation has built on since that time.
"Obviously, it's a public health concern. It's a matter that bipartisan support, certainly had it back then and has it now," said Guertin.
According to the CDC E-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adults who smoke and who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes.
Owner of Vape Boss Joey Christi tells me that he struggled with cigarettes for years and felt his health deteriorating. He says the only thing that was able to make him kick the habit was vaping.
"I smoked two packs a day for 7 years and I would wake up in the middle of the night choking to death," said Christi.
Christi worries that the new law could cause people to view smoking and vaping as one of the same.
"There's a confusing similarity that it creates. You cannot smoke unless it's a smoking zone but it's not smoking its vaping," said Christi.
Penalties for breaking the new law could include a misdemeanor charge and fine that could vary between $100 to $500.