MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 7, 2014

Ban e-cig use in public spaces

Electronic cigarettes should be treated as other tobacco products are by restricting their use in public spaces.

E-cigs may be less toxic than cigarettes, pipes and cigars, which release their nicotine through burning. But this is a case of better safe than sorry.

The last thing the public needs to do is substitute a cloud of nicotine-laced water vapor for the cloud of smoke we all used to have to walk through everywhere we went. We just don’t know what the effect of second-hand vapor will be in the long run.

Remember how many years it took to pry cigarette use out of public spaces? Even with abundant evidence of harm, it has taken years of state-by-state and city-by-city struggle to limit public smoking.

It is likely that e-cigs are much less harmful to smokers, because they don’t have to deal with carbon monoxide, tar and toxins that are byproducts of burning. We do not want to oppose the trend away from tobacco to e-cigs for smokers because of that likelihood.

Marketers have used the “you can use these anywhere” argument to promote sales of e-cigs. If this is their primary reason to switch, smokers should reconsider. Nicotine in your lungs should not be shared with unwilling others, whether in vapor or smoke.

Your right to smoke or vape should never interfere with my right to breathe.

Use of e-cigs should be banned in public settings.

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