Debates about ecigarette ban occur just about everywhere these days. Legislators insist that ecigarette use involve certain risks like renormalization of smoking that need to be avoided by imposing prohibitions. Advocates of smoking dispute by claiming that ecigs are helping smokers quit smoking so smokers must be supported, not discouraged from vaping.
In Clinton City, South Carolina
Among the topics that the City Council discussed during its latest meeting was the possibility of extending the smoking ban to ecigarettes. According to City Manager Frank Stovall, studies show that ecigs produce problems that are the same as the problems caused by cigarette smoking.
Council Member Norman Scarborough also remarked that similar studies likewise indicate that ecigs produce secondary exposures to bystanders. Yet, other members of the city council were not convinced.
The ban should not be extended to ecigarettes, said Shirley Jenkins while Mary Byrd believes that the city should not do anything. The concern of Mayor Bob McLean is that the city need not spend its resources on court cases that the smoking ban extension might produce.
In the end, it was decided that the voting on Stovall’s recommendations be held off. Danny Crook noted that more data are necessary. According to him, he wants to know more about what other groups in the county are doing about ecigarettes such as the school district and the YMCA.
As far as Stovall knows, there are actually no complaints that the city staff has received regarding electronic cigarettes, but Scarborough claimed that some people complained to him. This debae is not yet concluded and the council will once again tackle this issue in November.
In Hawaii County
The council of Hawaii County is also reluctant on imposing an ecigarette ban on beaches although it was all ready to put a ban on vaping inside county buildings. A council committee stated that it is not ready to extend the ban to outdoor parks and beaches.
Committee on Public Safety and Mass Transit unanimously voted to postpone this proposed ordinance, Bill 306, until the next meeting on November 6so that its sponsor, Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha, the chance to amend the proposed legislation and remove the outdoor ban on vaping.
Member of the council mentioned some concerns like hampering the efforts of individuals using the ecigarette devices as tools for quitting. The factors for their reluctance include respecting the liberties of individuals and the challenge in imposing the outdoor ban.
Puna Councilman Zendo Kern said that it comes down to the general respect, a mutual respect for the choices that everyone makes. He said that he is bothered when someone in front of him watching a movie in a theater house, but he is not bothered when the people around him during an outdoor barbeque vape. He explained that they ask smokers not to smoke so they just moved on to ecigarettes. He said he hopes that vaping for these people help them wean off cigarettes.
For Kanuha, he said that his bill is only seeking consistency by also banning ecigaretts in all places where smoking is banned. He said that this is not an effort to take away the rights of people to use ecigs. He added that the county must regulate the places where ecigs are used considering the unknown potentials of the health impacts of ecig use and also the lack of regulations on the products.
Tobacco Free Big Island representatives squared off with the vendors of ecigarettes during the debate. Both sides cited conflicting data about the effects off vaping on the user and on bystanders.
Opponents claimed that people once thought that smoking is harmless and that the same might happen with electronic cigarettes. Tim Michel who resides in Puna said that the legislators are not about governing, but about parenting unnecessarily.