Georgia senators are moving to restrict vaping in public spaces.
The state Senate voted 51-3 on Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 47, which would regulate vaping in the same way the state already regulates smoking. The measure moves to the House for more debate.
Georgia's 2005 Smoke-Free Air Act says that people can't smoke indoors in many public places, although it excludes some places including tobacco stores, bars that only admit patrons older than 18, and privately owned convention rooms
A person who violates the law commits a misdemeanor and can be fined $100 to $500.
The state Department of Public Health is supporting the measure. In 2019, the department reported it had identified 42 cases of vaping-associated illness in Georgia, including six deaths.
Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, a Rome Republican, said he was trying to keep the change as simple as possible.
"Some people would say that vaping is safer because of the lack of tar, others would say that the ultrafine particulates in the aerosol make it worse. This isn't to argue that either way," Hufstetler said.