GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) – Starting Wednesday, electronic cigarettes will fall under the same ban as a traditional cigarette in Georgetown.
The city council made the decision to ban E-cigarettes in most public buildings in part due to a 2009 study which detected a chemical commonly found in anti-freeze for some leading brands of E-cigarettes.
But those who use and sell E-cigarettes believe the ban itself will pose a health risk.
“Essentially, what you are trying to do is make it harder for people to quit smoking,” said Shawn Pettit, a manager with the store All About Vapor in Round Rock where they sell the smoking alternative. Pettit estimates 99 percent of their business is smokers who quit or are trying to kick the habit.
“I smoked for 15 years and the first time I tried e-cigarettes I didn’t go back to cigarettes at all,” said customer Josh Cloud. “It is really tough to stop and this makes it so much easier.”
Pettit and others at All About Vapor plan on speaking to the Georgetown city council about the ban in hopes it will be rethought.
“We want to help the Georgetown City Council understand the positive benefits of E-Cigarette usage,” said Pettit.
The Food and Drug Administration has not made a definitive ruling on the potential health effects of e-cigarettes.
In Georgetown, the ban also prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to people under the age of 18, although All About Vapor said selling to minors has always been against their business policy.
As more details about the health effects become available, other cities could also amend their smoking ordinances. San Marcos passed a similar ban on electronic cigarettes in January.