Proposed e-cigarette ban delayed for 60 days - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Proposed e-cigarette ban delayed for 60 days

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A proposal to ban electronic cigarettes in public places was set to go before the Lake Charles City Council. And even though Councilman Dana Jackson felt like he had the votes to get it passed, he deferred it at the last minute.

"I was asked by some councilmen to delay this for 60 days... I hate to do that to you all," said Jackson.

It was disappointing for e-cigarette users, who said the device emits water vapor allowing them to get doses of nicotine.

"It's vaping... We are not smokers. We are ex-smokers. We are vapers and we vape," explained Ken Levingston, co-owner of Lake Charles Vapor.

Levingston said not only has the product helped people quit smoking traditional cigarettes, but e-cigarettes have zero carcinogens.

"We have study, after study, after study that show non-existent second hand effects what so ever from e-cigarettes. There's hardly any first hand effects -- other than you are ingesting nicotine, which is an addictive drug," said Levingston.

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living was also at the meeting to offer a different argument. They call it "second hand vaping" and believe it's harmful.

"It contains nicotine and they actually do have chemicals in those products," said Tonia Moore, LA for Tobacco Free Living Associate Director.

According to Moore, the FDA is still considering whether or not to classify e-cigarettes as a tobacco product.

"I think that will settle a lot of the dust that is possibly happening," said Moore.

For now, both sides say they'll continue to educate the public and be back before the council in 60 days.

"Yes, that's the silver lining. We have two months to vape in public. So, we will certainly take advantage of that and beyond that two months I believe we will win this thing," said Levingston.

A bill regulating the age to 18 to use e-cigarettes has been filed at the State Legislature. Councilman Jackson expects lawmakers to pass it before his proposal comes back before the council. He also expects the Calcasieu Parish School Board to rewrite their handbook policy -- banning e-cigarettes from school campuses. Jackson believes the two measures will support his proposal.

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