Once again, Fort Collins is cracking down on cigarette use: City Council approved an expansion to the city’s smoking ordinance on Tuesday, July 15.
According to the Coloradoan, the amendment includes a ban on electronic cigarette usage in non-smoking areas, as well as a complete ban on smoking in hotel rooms. The ordinance was unanimously approved by the board after being passed on first reading in a 6-1 vote. It will be in effect at the beginning of 2015.
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Some locals are unhappy with the new ban on electronic cigarettes, arguing that they are a great way to eliminate the danger of smoking.
What is an "electronic cigarette?"
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a new alternative to traditional cigarettes, and they are supposedly healthier. While they still contain addictive nicotine, they lack the cancer-causing agents present in regular cigarettes, like tar or carbon monoxide.
E-cigarettes contain a cartridge of liquid solution with nicotine and other non-harmful chemicals. When in use, an "atomizer" turns this solution into vapor, which users breathe in. The vapor feels like regular smoke, but it's much safer according to e-cig manufacturers. The atomizer runs on electricity, and it is powered by a lithium battery that must be charged by the user.
Even though e-cigarettes are a multi-billion-dollar industry, the risk surrounding them is still unclear. A report by Public Health England showed that data surrounding the safety of e-cigs vs. regular cigs was inconclusive, even though there is some evidence that e-cigs are safer. Still, consumers have faith in the new technology's potential, including members of the Fort Collins community.
Switching to eCigarrettes is almost the same as an alcoholic switching from hard liquor to wine.
E-cigarettes are a better option than other forms of smoking, in my opinion, given that they’re likely safer for the population as well as healthier for the atmosphere. Plus, they may be saving lives by stopping smokers from inhaling poisonous products. E-cigarettes are not necessarily healthy, but they are definitely healthier than other addictions. I would rather they not be banned, at least for now, based on what they provide for smokers in need of an alternative to tobacco.
All I can say is, I'm extremely glad I don't have this problem.
- Intern Tyler