E-Cig Users Hit by Smoking Bans

Bans being retooled to cover smokeless devices

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 10, 2011 3:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Electronic cigarettes don't burn anything and emit an odorless vapor instead of smoke, but users say they sometimes get treated as if they'd lit a reeking cigar. Use of the devices in places where cigarettes are banned has sparked fierce debate, and some states, cities, and workplaces have reworked smoking bans to include them, AP reports.

Anti-smoking groups want the devices covered under smoking bans until it can be proven that the vapor does no harm whatsoever. Users say anti-smoking groups should be on their side because the ability to use the devices in public is a powerful incentive for cigarette smokers to quit. "Not one cigarette in almost two years now," boasts one user who switched after 45 years of smoking. "How could you be against that?"

Cliff Phillips, a 61-year-old retiree and former smoker, and his wife, Vali, enjoy electronic cigarettes at their home in Cuba, Ill.
Cliff Phillips, a 61-year-old retiree and former smoker, and his wife, Vali, enjoy electronic cigarettes at their home in Cuba, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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The whole purpose of a smoking ban is to protect people from secondhand smoke, and there isn't any smoke from an electronic cigarette. - Elaine Keller, vice president of the nonprofit Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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