Vapers and businesses upset as e-cig ban takes effect Sept. 1

Updated: Sunday, August 31 2014, 09:13 PM MDT
Vapers and businesses upset as e-cig ban takes effect Sept. 1 story image

By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas -- E-cigarette users in the Borderland are preparing for a citywide e-cigarette ban set to take effect Sept. 1.


The city's ordinance bans the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping everywhere smoking is prohibited. This includes inside public places like restaurants, bars, and movie theaters. Smoking is not allowed within 20 feet of entrances of enclosed public places.


Some e-cigarette smokers and vapers in El Paso are upset the the new ban is placing e-cigarette smokers in the same category as regular smokers.


Morgan Guthrie, a resident of northeast El Paso, said vaping is not the same thing as regular smoking.


"It’s a safer alternative," Guthrie said.


Guthrie said he started vaping one year ago.


"I used to be a two-pack a day smoker for maybe three or four years, I lost track after a while," Guthrie said.


Guthrie said vaping is what helped him give up regular smoking altogether.


"I've actually been cigarette free for a year," Guthrie said.


Guthrie said he's not too upset by the ban. But he added that it is just now an inconvience he has to go outside to smoke.


"Am I angry? No, it was bound to happen," Guthrie said. "Is it a bit excessive? Yes and no. I guess we've just got to be more cautious of where we use our electronic cigarettes."


Officials with the city of El Paso's Department of Public Health said the reasoning behind the ban is because there isn't a lot of information about electronic cigarettes.


"We don’t know the potential risks for using electronic cigarettes," said Sarai Garcia, a health educator with the department of public health. "A second reason is because we don’t know how much nicotine people are using. We want the public to breathe clean air and we want that to take priority over the decision to use tobacco and to smoke."


The staff at Adrian's bar in east El Paso said they implemented the ban over the weekend just to get customers prepared.


Astrad Diaz, a bartender at Adrian's, said customers did not welcome the idea with open arms when they were told they could no longer smoke their e-cigs.


"It was a group of them and I think they got kind of bothered because I made them stop and they left," Diaz said.


Diaz argues that the air inside the bar is clean even when customers vape or smoke e-cigarettes.


"It wasn't dirty to begin with, I mean they smell good," Diaz said. "They don't have tobacco, there's nothing wrong with them."


Diaz said she fears the bar could lose business as 30 percent of their customers smoke e-cigarettes or vapes.


"I hope not, but probably," Diaz said. "Just because people are used to it and I guess they're going somewhere else to see if they can do it over there."


The second phase of the citywide e-cigarette smoking ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2015. In this phase, e-cigarettes will be banned in all city-owned property which includes city parks, recreation centers, city buildings, and city department buildings.


E-cigarette smoking will also be banned 20 feet within transportation shelters, platforms, and bus stops.


Fines for violating the new ordinance range from $100 to $500.

Vapers and businesses upset as e-cig ban takes effect Sept. 1
comments powered by Disqus

El Paso Times Headlines

El Paso continues to move ahead, County Judge Veronica Escobar says
The creation of a county administrator, moving the budget function under the Commissioners Court and a new agreement with the County Sheriff's Officers Association were among the main achievements of county government this year, County Judge Veronica Escobar said Wednesday.
Man accused of DWI, speeding at 96 mph in East El Paso
A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after police officers pulled him over for driving almost 100 miles per hour in East El Paso this morning.
El Paso police name workers who died at water treatment plant
El Paso police on Wednesday released the names of two men who died last week at a waste water treatment plant in the Lower Valley.
El Paso police look for suspected child molester allegedly filmed in abuse case
El Paso police are asking for the public's help in finding a suspected child molester allegedly filmed on a cellphone video abusing a 7-year-old girl.
Fort Bliss soldiers deployed to West Africa to undergo 21-day Ebola quarantine on return
All U.S. military personnel, including about 70 Fort Bliss soldiers, who are deployed to West Africa as part of the U.S. effort to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus will be required to undergo a 21-day monitoring period once they return from their mission, U.S. officials said.
Canutillo school district votes to not hire specialist in investigation
The Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday voted against hiring a handwriting specialist to investigate an associate superintendent.
Online university offers scholarships, discounts for El Paso students
The Texas branch of a national, online university is partnering with El Paso organizations to encourage more local and Hispanic students to enroll in its programs.
Crime Spot: Men steal purse from parked car in far East El Paso
Two men broke into a car outside a pawn shop in the far East Side earlier this month. The case is Crime Stoppers of El Paso's "Crime Spot" of the week.
World Series: Madison Bumgarner, Giants beat Royals 3-2 in game 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A giant, indeed. Madison Bumgarner punctuated one of the finest World Series performances in baseball history by pitching the San Francisco Giants to their third title in five years with a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 on Wednesday night.
›› Photos: San Francisco Giants top Kansas City Royals 3-2 in World Series Game 7

›› PHOTOS: Here's to the fans of the 2014 World Series
High school football week 10 matchups
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday Where: Socorro Student Activities Complex Records: Riverside is 1-4 in District 2-5A, 2-6 overall; Eastlake is 5-0 in District 2-5A, 5-3 overall Last week: Riverside lost to
Deputy was on phone with girlfriend during Las Cruces shooting, police say
LAS CRUCES >> The Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy accused of killing a fellow deputy in a Las Cruces hotel was on the phone with his girlfriend when he fired the fatal shots, according to
US health care unprepared for Ebola
The U.S. health care apparatus is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system, according to an Associated Press review of readiness at hospitals and other components of the emergency medical network.
El Paso ranked No. 22 in best cities for Halloween
Trick-or-treat! El Paso's mild weather helped make it one of the top 25 cities to celebrate Halloween, according to new rankings.
El Paso-area registered sex offenders checked for compliance before Halloween
Authorities in El Paso recently conducted a registered sex offender compliance verification operation in an effort to ensure a safe Halloween for county residents.
Search database: Registered sex offenders in El Paso County
Search a database of registered sex offenders in El Paso County.
advertisement
KFOX14 El Paso - Links Mentioned Get the latest web resources mentioned on KFOX14 News!
advertisement