Weatherford Democrat

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February 22, 2014

Up in vapors

Some question ban on e-cigarettes along with regular tobacco

(Continued)

E-cigarettes are controversial. Some experts believe that, at a time when cigarette smoking has finally become passé in popular culture, e-cigarettes could re-glamorize puffing away in public places and that cigarette sales could surge.

“It could go in either direction,” said John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer.

If the FDA can ratchet down nicotine in conventional cigarettes to levels below what’s in e-cigarettes, perhaps everyone who clings to smoking will switch to the higher-nicotine new products. That could achieve the end of smoking, at least of combustible, carcinogen-filled cigarettes –  or so the thinking goes.

Texas Municipal League Executive Director Bennett Sandlin said many cities are going toward no smoking in their food establishments. Sandlin had no exact numbers on how many cities statewide have enacted such ordinances, but he said most of the larger cities have put some sort of ban on it while some cities are banning smoking in restaurants altogether.

Weatherford residents taking part in a Weatherford Democrat online poll overwhelmingly are in favor of the proposed ban by a 3-to-1 margin. The poll remains at the top of the WD’s homepage at weatherforddemocrat.com.

One local business owner, who declined to be identified, said if the ordinance is passed, it could cut his business by around 40 percent.

“People here want to come in for a drink and to socialize,” the owner said. “I can’t expand or construct a patio, so I could see the ordinance causing some problems.”

Warren said e-cigarettes do contain propylene glycol, which is contained in antifreeze, but the ingredient is in there to make the anti freeze less toxic.

“Electronic cigarette juice does contain propylene glycol,” Warren stated. “However, it is neither toxic nor a carcinogen. It is, in fact, an FDA approved ingredient used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, personal care, and many other products. Most all domestic e-cigarette juices contain only vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, and nicotine.”

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The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

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