While some residents agree with city council saying they are as harmful as regular cigarettes, supporters argue that since they contain no tobacco, the electronic devices are not as bad for the user and less invasive for those around them as traditional smokes.
Zack Jones, a supporter of the smokeless, battery powered cigarettes says he use to smoke twenty-five regular cigarettes a day and now only puffs on three e-cigs a week. Jones, along with his friend Max told our t-v- partner Local 2 they plan to open a vapor shop in Baytown and believe businesses should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to allow e-cigs. Members of the Baytown city council disagree.
Baytown City Manager Bob Leiper says "In a nutshell, we want to treat e-cigarettes the same as cigarettes. That's the best way to describe it.” The city will revisit the issue on April 10th and if they decide to put those restrictions in place, they could go into effect as soon as ten days later.
Right now only a handful of cities have restrictions against e-cigarettes, including a few in north Texas. There are no federal laws on the devices at this time. Also experts say there has not been enough testing on the vapor that is exhaled to determine if it is harmful or not.