Lawmakers taking a closer look e-cigarette ban

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lawmakers in Albany and in Erie County are exploring the idea of limiting the use of electronic cigarettes called “vaping”, just as smoking tobacco is limited in most public places.

While vaping is not the same as smoking, critics claim the second hand effect it has on others. In vaping, the user applies an electronic charge to liquid nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco, to get the same enjoyment, but rather than inhaling smoke, the user gets the nicotine vapor.

Many cigarette users turn to vaping to kick the smoking habit, but health officials say teenagers are taking up vaping in disturbing numbers, for enjoyment.

“Because they come in all those flavors, they are very appealing to them,” said Buffalo librarian Kathleen McGriff Powers. “On the other hand, I think it may not really discourage them enough for them to just stay away from tobacco and vaping altogether.”

Many establishments, such as Spot Coffee on, Elmwood Avenue, have already taken a position and have banned vaping.

Spot customers, such as Carey Burnett who once dated a man who smoked e-cigarettes to get off of tobacco think clearing the air of all nicotine might be a good idea.

Burnett recalled her boyfriend’s vaping experience. “He did have a very high nicotine concentration in it. So he went from smoking hardly at all, because of vaping, but then he ended smoking a lot of the vapes, and now he is actually back to cigarettes. So it is a rollercoaster,” Burnett told News 4.

Carey’s friend April Eaker has mixed feelings about a vaping ban. Eaker works at a healthcare facility and has seen it help and hurt chances of kicking the tobacco habit.

“They can be a little bit helpful, but I think it is kind of changing one problem to another, because vaping can be just as bad. If you go from a medium to a high voltage, on the vaping, it can be just as bad or worse.”

The Erie County Legislature is holding a public hearing Monday afternoon in the Old County Courthouse to get public input, and gather date on regulating electronic cigarettes.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has already stated on the record he would like to expand New York’s Clean Air Act that bans smoking in most public places to include vaping.

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