Lake Charles councilman proposes electronic cigarette ordinance

Councilman proposing e-cig ordinance
(Gerron Jordan / KPLC)
(Gerron Jordan / KPLC)

There is a proposal by a Lake Charles city councilman to regulate electronic cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are fairly new on the market. They emit water vapors and allow smokers to get doses of nicotine without the harmful carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes.

But without trusted research from the FDA or CDC, councilman Dana Jackson thinks there needs to be regulations on who can get their hands on them and where they can be used.

Aaron Marceaux, a local tattoo artist, said e-cigarettes changed his life.

"At first I was kind of leery on how it would work," Marceaux said. "But when I tried them, it was actually very satisfying and from then on I didn't go back to cigarettes."

The new trend hasn't come without scrutiny or regulations.

"I was in a restaurant having a steak dinner with my wife and I was approached by one of the managers saying that there was a company policy stating that the electronic cigarette was no longer allowed," Marceaux said.

Jackson said the mystery surrounding e-cigs is enough to support regulating them, especially in hopes of keeping the away from children.

"I can see where these can be real attractive to young people and they're easy to get," Jackson said. "You can buy a lot more nicotine in those than you do in a cigarette."

Jackson said he wants regulations including restrictions on age, smoking them in public places, around food or within 10 feet of an enclosed area.

Marceaux said he's done his research and thinks regulating e-cigs is the start of over regulating everything.

"If we're going to do it like that then anyone with a humidifier or an oxygen tank, who knows what they're breathing out," Marceaux said. "You say it's oxygen, but is it?"

Jackson said he hopes the rest of the city council is supporting of his proposal while Marceaux hopes it is dead in the ashes.

The proposed ordinance is on this week's agenda for introduction. It will be up for discussion and final vote at the City Council's regular meeting on Wednesday, February 19.

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