NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches City Council will soon consider a change to the city’s smoking ordinance to include electronic devices, such as vaporizers and e-cigarettes.
The City of Nacogdoches first prohibited smoking in public places and workplaces in 2008; this decision would add to the ordinance by including electronic devices as a means of reducing risks of second-hand smoke.
“At the time, e-cigarettes just weren’t on the forefront, they just weren’t as researched, we didn’t know the effects of them, if they would be a good cessation tool or not” said Kim Barton of the Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition. “There were just so many unknown entities about e-cigarettes that we left them off the ordinance to address later, if they became an issue. So, this is kind of a housekeeping issue on our part.”
Barton said e-cigarettes contain nicotine and are considered a tobacco product, so adding electronic devices to the current ordinance would make it “nice and neat” for enforcement.
“I mean, it doesn’t bother me, but I think, more of the questions asked to get some answers -- an educated decision -- means a lot more,” said Bob Holloway, owner of Vapor Trails. “Don’t just go with one source, we go with many. They help you get off of cigarettes and reduce their nicotine intake and it’s been quite successful.”
Holloway attributes the product he now sales as keeping him off tobacco cigarettes.
" I smoked for 46 years and I was little reluctant when I first started vaping. But it satisfied my needs and I’ve been off cigarettes for now 7 years."
Health advocates object to the large cloud of vapors some vaper users exhale.
“I can understand when some people see the vapor they automatically think smoke because that’s what our minds do too,” said Holloway.
He calls it a mind trick which satisfies the smoking cessation, but without chemicals, the kind of juice Holloway says he sales. Added nicotine is a customer’s choice.
Nac Can coordinator Cindy Vargas isn’t easily convinced. The ex-smoker is concerned for children who may see those vaping may want to try it themselves. She cited electronic devices on school campuses are causing problems, Vargas is pleased more cities are updating smoking ordinances.
Vargas said, " I think it’s coming into mutual agreement, you know, stating the facts as far as the health risks that it is to our community (and) sending to our youngsters. I think as a whole we can come together. There’s been other cities. I now San Antonio they actually passed a law where the smoking ordinance included vaping cigarettes. "
Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition will present its case to the city council on Feb. 19.