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E-cigarettes are a growing trend for current and even new smokers. Like regular cigarettes, could they soon be banned in Ohio bars and restaurants?
The city of Findlay is in the beginning stages of doing just that.
First it was cigarette use that was banned inside restaurants, schools and the workplace. Findlay is working to include e-cigs in that ban. Leaders say a major part of that actually has to do with young people who use e-cigs.
E-cigarettes are a popular alternative to tobacco cigarettes for many smokers. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine electronically. Some say they're safer than regular cigarettes, others disagree.
Dr. Stephen D. Mills is the Health Commissioner for the Findlay City Health Department. He has asked city council to include e-cigarettes in the smoke free laws and ordinances.
"We're seeing a re-normalization of smoking indoors. We've made such strides over the last decade, that now there are clean indoor ordinances and now I think the e-cigarettes are making that more normal and we feel that is a step backwards in public health," said Dr. Mills.
Dr. Mills understands that e-cigs can be somewhat beneficial for smokers who are trying to quit tobacco use, but still doesn't believe they are entirely safe or healthy. He says one of the main reasons he is recommending the e-cig ban is to deter youths from using e-cigs, when they don't smoke to begin with.
"We're seeing a lot of youth experimenting with e-cigarettes, and nicotine is addictive. So we're going to have a youth nicotine addiction problem with these e-cigarettes too," said Dr. Mills. "There are bans right now in effect and we'd like to be ahead of the game and understand that. I think it will lead toward a healthier environment."
Findlay City Council has asked Dr. Mills to attend a meeting for further discussion.