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Joshua R. Larson, Moorhead, Published June 29 2012

E-cigarettes not the problem

As Smoke-Free North Dakota is collecting signatures for the petition on the newly proposed smoking ban, The Forum and our elected public officials should not forget that there are residents who wish to see smoke-free electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) removed from the proposed ordinance. No rational basis exists to ban the use of e-cigarettes where smoking is not permitted.

E-cigarette vapor has been analyzed for contaminants by multiple parties, including the Food and Drug Administration, and no test has ever suggested e-cigarette vapor poses a hazard to bystanders. Furthermore, with more evidence coming out each month that e-cigarettes have helped hundreds of thousands of people quit smoking, including myself, it is contrary to public health to send e-cigarette users out into the smoking section.

Many other smoking bans have specifically omitted e-cigarettes, with little to no complaint. If North Dakota wants to enact a ban on smoking, it should prohibit the use of products that create smoke. Any action against e-cigarettes should be taken separately. E-cigarettes do not burn. They create vapor. Vapor is not smoke.