With almost four percent of American adults, or more than 9 million vapers, enjoying e-cigarettes on a regular basis, knowing that you’re living in an area that caters to your habits is important. It was even a talking point in the election, where candidates and ballot initiatives put vaping in the crosshairs. While some states and cities cater to vapers – with a surplus of vape shops – others are passing laws or ordinances that curb their use.
To uncover the most and least friendly e-cigarette locales in the U.S., we looked at the top 300 largest cities and created a list of all the vape shops listed on Yelp. Then, we examined the existing laws that restrict e-cigarette usage; these data became part of the interactive tool below, which allows you to quickly identify vape-friendly cities, counties, or states across America. Continue reading to see what we found.
Are You Free to Vape?
Here’s a chance to see how vaping is or isn’t regulated in your own backyard. This interactive map allows you to see which states have the highest and fewest number of restrictions placed on vaping. If you click on a state, it also outlines the cities and counties with active legislation against vaping. You’ll see, as we referenced earlier, that states like Nevada are a paradise for vapers. On the other hand, California has passed laws related to the use and sale of e-cigarettes in close to 90 cities and counties. How do your home state, city, and county fare?
Evicted for Vaping
Massachusetts makes life difficult for vapers – as its local and statewide governments have worked to enact over 100 pieces of smoke-free legislation. There are even campaigns today, such as the “Go Smoke-Free” effort, that have successfully encouraged landlords to adopt smoke-free policies when renting to tenants.
There are, however, several states that are allowing vapers to live peacefully without the fear of regulations. Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Tennessee are more of a vaper’s paradise than the Bay State.
No State to Vape
While there are now nearly 600 laws restricting e-cigarette usage across the U.S., this represents a significant increase from 2013, when there were fewer than 200 laws in place. With almost 200 additional pieces of legislation and laws prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in 2014, the nation approached 400 total actions against vaping.
Additionally, 2014 represented a year of significant growth in the use of e-cigarettes in high school students, which could have impacted the increase in new laws. There was almost a two hundred percent increase in the number of high school students using e-cigarettes from 2013 to 2014. With such a significant increase in the books, someone had to take notice. Since then, there has been a decline in passed vaping legislation.
Land of the Corner Vape Stores
In looking at where it's easiest or most difficult to visit a local vape shop and pick up new vape mods or flavored eliquid, we found it’s best to look west. With the top 10 states having just over two to three vape shops per 100,000 residents, the western half of the United States claims six of those stops. In fact, they make up the first six overall spots. Nevada, with over three stores per 100,000 people, offers up statewide legislation that leaves vapor products unregulated and untaxed, which is music to vapers’ ears and wallets.
West Virginia earns the honor of being the state with the fewest number of vape shops per 100,000 residents at just under 0.40. West Virginians also struggle to vape, with some counties even passing regulations to outlaw vaping in hotels, motels, and outdoor public settings. You might even be subject to a $100 fine if you get caught. Keep that outdoor vaping in West Virginia on the down-low!
With close to eight vape shops per 100,000 residents, Las Vegas could be the unofficial home of vaping. Last year, we also recognized the city as one of the top five most vape-friendly cities in the United States. Miami also ranks extremely high – second overall – with over six and a half shops per 100,000 citizens.
The top five largest cities in the United States – New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Houston – have the fewest vape shops per 100,000 citizens. New York City has under 0.20 shops per 100,000 residents, likely due to the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the city’s Smoke-Free Air Act. This prohibits vapers from vaping in several locations: bars, restaurants, offices, parks, and beaches. It also prevents the sale of liquids to anyone under the age of 21.
Main Street Vapes
Taking a magnified look, we see the top cities for vape shops per 10,000 citizens cast a different map of vape entrepreneurship. Florida, the tenth state overall for vape shops per 100,000 citizens, also has five cities among the top 20 in vape shops per 10,000 residents. Melbourne, Fort Myers, and Gainesville are either close to or above 1.5 shops per 10,000 people.
While enclosed workplaces in the state don’t allow for e-cigarette usage, Florida’s state government doesn’t allow local governments to enact additional smoke-free legislation. Several campuses, however, such as the University of Tampa, Lynn University, and the University of West Florida, are going smoke-free.
Although close to 1,300 colleges have banned the on-campus use of e-cigarettes, several of the top 20 cities are college towns. College Station, Texas, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Boulder, Colorado, all have large public universities and high access to vape shops per 10,000 citizens. It just makes it a little less convenient to vape before or after class in these cities.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Vaping
Vaping is something to enjoy, but it’s easy to forget there are plenty of people who don’t understand it like we do. These are areas where you might find fewer vape shops and a higher concentration of laws that prohibit the freedom to vape where you’d like.
Halo wants you to vape in similar pursuit of the Founding Fathers’ ideals – life, liberty, and the pursuit of taste. Don’t forget to check out our amazing dessert e-liquid line.
For all data about vape shops, we scraped Yelp listings for the top 300 U.S. cities. We then compared the number of vape shops per 100,000 residents for each state, as well as vape shops per 100,000 and 10,000 residents for U.S. cities and towns, respectively. We used data from No-Smoke.org to find laws that have been enacted specifically mentioning the restriction of e-cigarettes. The interactive shows which specific cities and counties have enacted legislation restricting e-cigarettes specifically. Some states not shown may apply e-cigarettes to existing smoking laws.