College Station City Council Woman Wants To Ban E-Cigarettes In Public Places

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COLLEGE STATION - E-cigarettes are growing in popularity as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

And at least one College Station City Council member wants them banned in public places.

News 3 looks at how they work and how the city council is getting briefed on the subject.

Clouds of vapor waft through the corners of Aggieland Vapors in College Station on a very busy Thursday morning.

Thomas Winters of Bryan was a smoker for 22 years before making the switch to e-cigarettes two weeks ago.

"It's a safer alternative to cigarettes I can tell you that, so I feel healthier I can breathe better," Winters said.

E-cigarettes come in flavors like cola, to even a butterscotch flavor we got to smell and can contain small amounts of nicotine.

Thursday night the College Station City Council is hearing feedback from staff on reasons to ban them in places where regular cigarettes aren't allowed

An idea Winters doesn't think is needed. While some higher end e-cigarettes can create large plums of vapor, the entry level ones emit much smaller amounts.

"In middle of court or a meeting yeah I can understand that you know I mean, but as far as you know you go to a bar and someone's smoking, vaping, it's not hurting nobody," he said.

One of the staff recommendations includes making sure these e-cigarettes are not sold to minors and that may be a moot point.
The folks here at Aggieland Vapors say they don't sell to anyone under 18 and they're constantly checking for ID.

Patrick St. George works at the store and also vapes as it's called.

"It's a respect level that a lot of people need to understand. You know what I mean, like if there's kids around obviously I try not to do it around them," said St. George.

College Station City Council member Blanche Brick asked staff to look at an e-cigarette policy.

"The idea is until we know more about it, it should be at least I believe it should be a just part of our smoking policy, that it's banned in public places," Brick said.

The council is not taking any action at this time so e-cigarette users have no reason to fume yet.

A number of Texas cities including Abilene, Baytown, Plano and San Marcos have already banned e-cigarettes in public places.

The FDA is also considering banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors as well as doing more research on their health effects.