Lubbock unlikely to follow Frisco on e-cig ban

Reported by: Ashley Claster
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Updated: 2/20/2014 4:28 am
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The City of Frisco's City Council voted Tuesday night to regulate electronic cigarettes, and enforce a new law that will mirror the current smoking ordinance.

A unanimous 6-0 vote made Frisco one of the first cities in Texas to enforce the ban. Now users cannot vape where smoking is prohibited.

"One of the main reasons really is public feedback," Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said. "The community started contacting us with concerns. There was many things going on that our residents were asking us to look into. So that's really what started the process."

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson said vaping has not been raised as a problem to him by one single citizen.

"I haven't had any facts put before me that shows the vapor harms anybody," Robertson said. "So I think at this point, until we have health officials bring us information saying here's the problem these are causing, I'm not one to go out and try to fix a problem that I really don't think exists yet."

Some non-users are concerned about second hand smoke, actually vapor, and the smell. But the owners of 180 Vape say it is not an issue.

"With cigarettes you have more than 7,000 chemicals in there, and there's even more that we don't even know about," 180 Vape Owner Travis Pharr said. "Within an electronic cigarette, there's only four chemicals in there. And when you blow out, there's hardly anything, if anything left."

The new law in Frisco also bans sale to minors. That is something that 180 Vape fully supports.

"We don't want to give that to children," Pharr said. "We don't want them to think that this is what they need to do. That it's cool."

Mayor Maso said the Frisco City Council has also gotten some negative feedback from vapers. So should vaping be banned here in Lubbock, too?

"I think it should be banned," Lubbock resident Cardo Flores said. "Smoking is smoking to me, I don't care."

"I don't think it should," resident Justin Greene said. "It doesn't have a real effect on people like the real cigarettes do."

"Because it's not any different to the people that are doing it. And that's why I think it should be banned," resident Sandy Wall said.

Now that the ban has hit other cities in Texas, vapers here in Lubbock are worried that it might be enforced here, too. But Mayor Robertson says he doesn't think that will happen any time soon.

"I think what we really need to do is slow down, take a deep breath, and gather good solid information. Because it's easy to make decisions on something like this based on emotions. But I found that when we as elected officials make decisions on emotions, we normally make the wrong decisions."

New York and Chicago are among the nations largest cities that have recently banned e-cigs everywhere smoking is prohibited.
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