E-Cigarettes Not Regulated by Local Smoking Ordinances

7 years 10 months 1 week ago Monday, December 13 2010 Dec 13, 2010 Monday, December 13, 2010 6:27:16 PM CST December 13, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia city officials said Monday the new e-cigarettes hitting the market aren't subject to the city's anti-smoking law. That could leave people a way to get around the ordinance. The electronic cigarette is a second-hand-smoke-free way to get your nicotine fix. Smokers can use the e-cigarette anywhere, including airplanes.

But the Columbia-Boone County Health Department said e-cigarettes are not as healthy as people may think. They are a nicotine-delivery system, still giving the smoker the drug.

Tobacco stores said the purpose of this e-cigarette is two-fold: to let people smoke inside smoke-free venues, and also to help people quit smoking. The health department said since these cigarettes still deliver nicotine to the user, they do not help people kick the habit at all, but rather keep them addicted.

City officials also say the e-cigarettes do not fall under their smoking ordinance because they are not a lighted, burning material, so officials could not restrict the use of them in public places even if they are bothersome to people.

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