WASHINGTON -- In many states, you can't smoke in bars, restaurants, public buildings and common areas of apartments and condos.
But can you use an e-cigarette there?
"The perfect place for an electronic cigarette is anywhere that a smoker is" and that's because Gregory Conley, with the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association says when you use an e-cigarette, you're not smoking, you're "vaping."
The battery operated e-cigarette delivers nicotine from a liquid cartridge. A mechanism in the e-cigarette converts the liquid into vapor, and that vapor is what the user inhales. So that's where the term "vaping" comes from.
But Prince George's County Councilmember Ingrid Turner is proposing a ban on e-cigarettes. Turner was quoted in the Gazette newspapers as saying there are too many "unknowns" about the long term effects of e-cigarettes, so her bill CB-91-2013 would ban the use of e-cigarettes in restaurants, bars and public and senior housing units.
Conley disagrees with the contention that there's not enough data to show that e-cigarettes are not harmful. "There's plenty of research showing that the levels of chemicals in e-cigarette vapor are far, far below the levels present in second-hand smoke, and far below the levels needed to actually hypothetically cause harm to bystanders."
Conley says the ban being proposed in Prince George's County is "an anomaly." He says the District of Columbia is also proposing a ban, but otherwise "there hasn't been a big push towards this."
Montgomery County recently banned smoking anywhere on county property, but Neil Greenburger, spokesman for the Montgomery County Council, says the legislation is silent on e-cigarettes.
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