Vaping in Public Creates Controversy 02/18/14
CBS 7 News
February 18, 2014
ODESSA—The vaping community is quickly growing as electronic cigarettes and vapes have become a popular trend nationwide.
However, these devices have lawmakers and many people at a standstill on whether to classify the devices as traditional cigarettes, which has sparked up some controversy.
Although they're marketed as being harmless, those who don't vape have their own concerns.
These battery-operated devices come in all different sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors, which turn a liquid containing nicotine into a vapor that can be inhaled.
Vyky Delao says she has no problem with people vaping, but feels that by allowing people to do so indoors sends the wrong message to minors.
"With kids, teenagers now-a-days, they get real tempted with it (vapes). They think it’s ok with the flavored ones, and of course when they’re in public places and see these people with them, they’re going to want to get tempted and smoke," Delao said.
David Valdez with the West Texas Vaping Coalition is a major advocate in the local vaping community, and says with vaping, people don’t have to worry about second hand smoking problems like they do with regular cigarettes.
"The exhale is water vapor, there’s nothing else in it. It’s not offensive, there’s no offensive orders, there’s no offensive carcinogens or anything else that you have with second hand smoking,” Valdez said.
Some local businesses in the area, such as Cheddars and the Hollywood Theater in Odessa, treat vaping like smoking and they don't allow it to happen indoors.
Because there is no law set in stone regarding e-cigs, people tend to vape in public spaces, such as restaurants, theaters and malls.
The FDA is still in the process of creating regulations for these devices, so it appears that in the meantime it will be left to the discretion of businesses, employers and city officials to create and enforce their own policies.