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E-Cigarettes Growing in Popularity Across the Miami Valley
DAYTON -- More people are turning to e-cigarettes. Many cities are pushing to ban vaping in parks, restaurants and in the workplace, but so far in Dayton, you can light them up.
More shops that sell e-cigarettes are popping up in the Miami Valley. Recently, Ohio lawmakers banned the sale of e-cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to anyone under the age of 18, but the Public Health Department of Dayton says the new law does not go far enough.
"They're saying the electronic cigarette will help you quit and you don't get cancer. Use our product," said Bruce Barcelo of Public Health Dayton. "Those claims are not valid at this time but because it's not FDA regulated they can make any claim that they want."
Public health officials say it is still too early to determine all the risks associated with electronic cigarettes because they not yet regulated by the FDA.
Restaurants and bars in Dayton ban you from lighting up, which is leading to more people turning to e-cigarettes. Many cities are rushing to ban vaping in parks, restaurants and in the workplace, but so far Dayton has not taken action to do so.
"You should be able to vapor in public places," said Jeremy Hering, who had been smoking regular cigarettes for 15 years. "It hasn't been proven to be harmful like cigarettes have been proven to be harmful, both secondhand and firsthand."
"Their claim is that it's simply water vapor and that's not true. There are other chemicals that when they're heated there's secondhand drift. How dangerous is that secondhand drift. We don't know yet," said Barcelo. "The lungs are made to take in clean fresh air. Any time that you are putting in chemicals into the lungs it can be a cause of concern."
Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not have tobacco. The nicotine is inhaled through a vapor in different flavors, including cherry, cotton candy and chocolate. The Health Department says these cigarettes are targeted specifically to teens.
Currently, the biggest health issue involves re-fillable cartridges of liquid nicotine, which is sending more teens to the hospital.
Medical experts say just a lick of nicotine liquid can make a child sick and a teaspoon can be fatal.
The calls made to the Poison Control Center from 2012 to 2013 went up to 300 percent, and that number will likely double again this year.
New vapor shops are starting to open up here in the Miami Valley as vaping becomes more mainstream. Even college campuses are re-evaluating their policies now that students are pulling out their e-cigarettes in the classroom.
With traditional cigarettes, there is a concern of secondhand smoke but you may need to also take some precaution if a person is vaping next to you.
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