By BRIAN SMITH
Public smoking bans might be the trend these days, but it still doesn’t sit well with some smokers.
A smoker for more than 35 years, Dave Mittingham said the City of Weatherford’s proposed ban on smoking in food establishments is just one way the city is trying to influence business.
“They say they are business friendly, but (what they’re proposing) sure doesn’t sound very friendly to the businesses or to us smokers frankly,” Mittingham said.
Open for public comments at city council’s regular session Tuesday night, Al Warren is opposed to the the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the ban on smoking in places where food is sold, consumed or prepared.
The Weatherford resident said he was a smoker for more than 30 years before taking up the use of e-cigarettes. He says he hasn’t touched a cigarette since September. He says much of the information about e-cigarettes is incorrect, saying the Food and Drug Administration has even modified its stance on the health and safety of its use.
“E-cigarettes have not been fully studied so consumers currently don’t know the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended, how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or if there are any benefits associated with using these products,” Warren wrote in an e-mail. “Additionally, it is not known if e-cigarettes may lead young people to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.”
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide users with aerosol puffs that typically contain nicotine, and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint or chocolate. They’ve often been described as a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes. But there are few studies exploring exactly what chemicals are in them, and in what concentrations, and whether those levels are harmful.