The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 29, 2013

E-cigarettes banned from public property in Oklahoma town

From The Associated Press

AMARILLO, Texas — Ada is banning electronic cigarettes from public property beginning Nov. 20 after the city council narrowly amended its tobacco ordinance.

The amendment — which passed last week by a 3-2 vote — forbids electronic cigarettes on all indoor and outdoor areas owned or operated by the city. The ban doesn't include sidewalks.

Councilman Bryan Morris said the bottom line was parents who said they don't want to see people with electronic cigarettes at city parks while they watch their children play.

"I am sure there are people that aren't happy," said Morris, noting two or three people spoke against the ordinance at the Oct. 21 city council meeting. "If we are going to ban tobacco, we have to be fair to everyone," Morris said. "People want to enjoy our outdoor area."

Smokeless electronic cigarettes emit a vapor. They may or may not contain nicotine.

"It's not just water vapor," said Jennifer Lepard, tobacco use and prevention manager with the state Health Department. "What is going back into the air isn't completely clean."

Lepard cautioned the nicotine juice is made in "someone's home lab, not a hospital lab."

"People should use caution. There are other and safer ways to quit smoking," she said.

Elsewhere in the state, Oklahoma State University officials delayed a proposal to ban e-cigarettes on campus last week. An e-cigarette ban already is in place at the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma.


AP Source: The Oklahoman