Augusta smoking ordinance takes aim at electronic cigarettes

Augusta smoking ordinance takes aim at electronic cigarettes

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Cigarette smoking in Augusta could soon be a lot more restrictive. Now, commissioners want to rein in the electronic kind along with the tobacco varieties.

"I just think it's really bad," said Craig Perryman. "Because, you know, they shouldn't be in the same category as cigarettes."

Perryman owns and operates Crazy Vapors, a West Augusta shop specializing in so-called E-Cigs. He's worried the Tuesday vote on an anti-smoking ordinance would impact business.

"It may," he explained. "But we'll just do what we have to."

The debate has left some of Perryman's customers shaking their heads.

"Their ordinance is just out with the times," said Diahnne Duberry. "They're not up to date with the times, so to say, with what's going on in the world. People are trying to change their lives and be healthier."

Perryman said e-cigarettes are currently not regulated by the FDA, and probably need more research, but he believes they're generally safer and less toxic than tobacco cigarettes because they produce water vapor - not smoke.

"A lot of people just need more information on the topic," he said. "And stuff like that, before anyone jumps the gun, and says you can't do this, and you can't do that."

And he's also worried they won't be able to help people wanting to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.

"If they're like, they can't do this," he added. "They'll just say well I'm going to just stick with my cigarette. And that's somebody we can't help."

Now the ball is in Commission's court.

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