Weatherford Democrat

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February 22, 2014

Up in vapors

Some question ban on e-cigarettes along with regular tobacco


Warren agreed some imported Chinese e-cigarette juices do contain elevated amounts of various substances, due to poor quality control.

“E-cigarettes are getting a bad rap because of pressure from misinformed non-smokers and pro-tobacco special interest groups,” Warren said.

One city that already has a smoking ordinance, Frisco, has much tougher regulations. The Collin County city bans smoking of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes in public areas, including schools, theaters, stores, arenas and others. The city council last week banned the use of e-cigarettes by minors and subjected e-cigarettes to the same standards as regular tobacco.

Under the Weatherford proposal, e-cigarettes would still be permissible in a retail tobacco store or in a vapor shop.

Dr. Joel Nitkin, Senior Fellow for Tobacco Policy and the R Street Institute, has been a local health director, a state health director and president of two national public health organizations and has been actively involved with tobacco control since the 1980s. He said tobacco and e-cigarettes are two different things.

“There is no credible public health justification for banning e-cigarettes in no-smoking areas,” Nitkin told the Oregon House Committee on Human Services and Housing. “An estimated 70 percent to 80 percent of the indoor air pollution from cigarettes is due to sidestream smoke – the smoke that curls off the end of the cigarette when no one is sucking on it.

“The smoke exhaled by the smoker contributes relatively little to this pollution. E-cigarettes have no sidestream smoke. The vapor exhaled by the user of the e-cigarette contains traces of hazardous organic chemicals so small that they are not readily measurable above background levels in indoor environments. Propylene glycol – the propellant vehicle used in many e-cigarettes – is generally recognized as safe. It is used for theatrical fog, and is even used in some asthma inhalers.”

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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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