E-Cigarette Bill Could Weaken Smoke-Free Law

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City is on the fence with whether the use of e-cigarettes should be allowed in public places. As Pat Warren reports, city council passed the bill under protest from a certain organization.

The American Cancer Society wants the mayor to veto the bill because it gives bars and restaurants the chance to opt out. The American Cancer Society Action Network said the city doesn’t know what it’s dealing with.

“People can do whatever they want in their own space, but they shouldn’t take it into a public space until we know that it is safe,” Dr. Robert Brookland, an Oncologist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center said. “Right now we don’t know that.”

Smoking E-cigarettes is usually referred to as vaping.

“These are the tanks. They hold the nicotine that has the liquid and flavoring. They’re refillable, batteries rechargeable,” Adam Fordham, owner of The Vapory said.

Vaping is a nicotine vapor which is delivered electronically. The Cancer Action Network is opposed to the bill because it allows bars and restaurants to opt out by posting signs that e-cigarettes are allowed.

“As long as you post a sign or put it on your menu. Well posting signs and putting warnings on menus are old tactics of the tobacco industry,” Bonita Pennino, of the American Cancer Society said.

The long term effects of e-cigarettes are unclear, but Anne Arundel County, Delegate Barbara Frush says the bill should be vetoed. She sponsored the state bill that outlawed smoking.

“No one can tell me that these are not harmful,” Frush said.

But not everyone feels the same as Delegate Frush.

“Let’s find out what they do first before we start passing laws,” Fordham said.

Fordham said e-cigarettes helped him stop his 10 year smoking habit of two packs a day.

“It made it quite easy for me to quit smoking because of these,” Fordham said. “I’m not saying that I’m everybody. A lot of my customers feel the same way.”

The Mayor’s office issued the following statement:

“White the administration would have preferred that the city council had passed the original bill without any exceptions, we believe it is a step in the right direction toward a healthier Baltimore, protecting residents from the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.”

The sponsor of the bill tells WJZ it will restrict e-cigarettes in the vast majority of public buildings and workplaces.

 

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