The National Park Service (NPS) proposed revisions to the regulations that address smoking in national parks. The proposed revisions would change the regulation that defines smoking to include the use of electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). The proposed revisions would also allow a superintendent to close an area, building, structure, or facility to smoking, which would include the use of ENDS, when necessary to maintain public health and safety.
“Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service,” said Michael Reynolds, Acting Director of the National Park Service. “It is clear from a recent rule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a report by the Surgeon General that electronic cigarettes are a threat to public health, especially to the health of young people.”
In May 2016, the FDA finalized a rule bringing ENDS in line with regulations that have governed tobacco products since 2009. The FDA expressed concerns about ENDS use by youth and stated that in addition to nicotine exposure, there are other chemicals present in ENDS that can cause disease. Also in 2016, the Surgeon General issued a report emphasizing that ENDS use among youth and young adults is a public health concern.
The proposed revisions to 36 CFR 1.4 and 2.21 align with NPS policy on the use of ENDS which prohibits their use within all facilities and vehicles that are Government owned or leased, and within all national park concessions facilities.