Bill expands Natasha Protection Act to include e-smoking devices

(PNC photo)

Guam – Current law prohibits smoking within 20 feet from entrances and exits. But as it stands there are no laws which address the use of electronic smoking devices in public spaces.

Hoping to change this, Senator Amanda Shelton is now calling for electronic smoking devices to be prohibited wherever smoking cigarettes is currently prohibited.

Shelton introduced Bill 138-35 which would expand the Natasha Protection Act to include electronic smoking devices.

“(It) makes it illegal to smoke any type of electronic device in any place where cigarettes are already illegal to smoke. So for example, it would be the same amount of feet from the door in restaurants and bars – All the things the Natasha Act already covered. It will be expanded to include electronic devices,” Shelton said.

Shelton said, with the advent of new technology, so too must the laws change to reflect our current situation.

The Natasha Protection Act was first introduced by then-Senator Lou Leon Guerrero in 2005.  The Public Law is named after Natasha Perez, who was 14-years old at the time and suffered from osteosacroma, a rare form of cancer.

Because of her illness, Perez could not go to places where people smoked as the smoke could affect her health. Perez passed away on June 9, 2006. Senator Shelton and Perez were childhood best friends.

“With the advent of new technology, so too must the laws change to reflect our current situation,” said Shelton.   “The use of electronic smoking devices weren’t around when the Natasha Protection Act was first passed in 2005, but the concerns that law addressed remain the same.”

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Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.