The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 25, 2013

Fallin says no to vapes

NORMAN — Sales of e-cigarettes have increased significantly since marketing began for them in 2010. They don’t contain traditional tobacco but they do have nicotine and the Federal Drug Administration plans to write some regulations.

In some cases, states aren’t waiting for the federal government to act. Gov. Mary Fallin this week issued a ban on e-cigarettes on all state-owned and leased properties effective Jan. 1, 2014. The governor’s executive order will likely be put into law during the next legislative session.

It comes nearly two years after the governor banned tobacco products. Earlier, most public schools, colleges and universities had pushed smokers off campus.

But the vapers were holding out hope that their devices could be accommodated since they emit no smoke. Gov. Fallin says the jury is still out on the long-term health impact of vaping. Early research suggests bystanders can get just as much nicotine exposure from secondhand vapor as they do from secondhand smoke.

There seems to be confusion about e-cigarettes. Some advocates say it is helping them quit smoking. Others push the envelope and openly “smoke” them in stores, restaurants and on campus, presenting enforcement challenges.

We applaud the governor for her stance here. Any attempt to help move the state’s health ranking meter in a positive direction is appreciated.

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