By Jason Rantz
Vaping — the often misunderstood electronic device that looks like a cigarette and must be as bad as a cigarette — may be banned in public in Snohomish County.
Heather Thomas, spokeswoman for the Snohomish Health District, told KING 5 that she’s not saying you can’t vape, rather, you can do so in private.
“We’re not saying people can’t vape. They can certainly do so in private at home or in their car,” Thomas said. “Cigarettes took decades before we understood what was in them and that is still the same for e-cigarettes and vaping devices.”
Only that’s not completely true.
The Centers for Disease Control concedes in documentation online that “e-cigarettes appear to have far fewer of the toxins found in smoke compared to traditional cigarettes.”
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Association in the UK acknowledge that their use is safer than continued smoking.
WebMD says, “The biggest danger from tobacco is the smoke, and e-cigarettes don’t burn. Tests show the levels of dangerous chemicals they give off are a fraction of what you’d get from a real cigarette.”
And of course, people who are smokers, have been shifting towards e-cigs because it’s safer. They’re being used as a tool to quit smoking.
A study published in the medical journal “Addiction” looked at over 3,500 smokers and had them use e-cigarettes.
According to the medical journal, most smokers turned vapers — at least 92 percent — reported that the e-cigarette helped them quit or reduce smoking: “Users of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes reported better relief of withdrawal and a greater effect on smoking cessation than those using non-nicotine e-cigarettes.”
Now, if this ban goes through, it could have significant implications on businesses.
Vape shop owner Matt Bradley, who’s also on the TV show “Deadliest Catch,” says that this ordinance could close small shops like his.
Joe Baba, owner of Vaporland in Everett and founder of the Washington Vape Association, says a ban on public smoking would outlaw taste-testing, which is a big part of the business.
“People would not know what flavor to buy,” he told KING 5. “People would not be able to enjoy the process and figure out what they would want at home, so they wouldn’t come into the store.”
There’s no real reason to ban this and I’m not quite sure I understand why they want to do this.
It can’t be about secondhand smoke because vapor isn’t smoke. And a report commissioned by Public Health England says there’s no good evidence to suggest exposure to the vapor is harmful to bystanders.
Now critics say there could be dangers, but they’re just not sure.
OK, well why are you allowing it in the home? Why not try to simply ban the product? Why not ban cigarettes? Why not ban sugar? We know sugar in excess is unhealthy. There’s no question. Why not ban sugar consumption in public?
I think the reason they don’t go for total bans is they like the tax dollars associated with the products. Cigarettes in Washington can bring in almost a half-billion dollars a year to the general fund. Lawmakers love that, but at the same time, they say they care about your health.
All this ends up doing is making it harder for people to quit smoking cigarettes and it just creates more of a nanny state.