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Letter: There is a difference between cigarettes and e-cigarettes

In America we make laws based on facts, not hearsay. The FDA, National Institutes of Health (our government) and the most comprehensive study to date by Drexel University have all shown that the levels of "potentially hazardous chemicals that impact health" emitted from e-cigarettes are far below standards of indoor air quality. Even our government agrees there is no possible harm to bystanders.

Contrary to popular belief, we do know the contents of the vapor emitted by e-cigarettes: Propylene glycol (FDA approved), Vegetable glycerine (FDA approved) and FDA approved food flavoring. A recent study has even shown that in a small unventilated room with five people using e-cigarettes for five hours, no nicotine was detectable in the air. The emissions are very similar to that of a fog machine. Only, the quality of the liquid is much higher in e-cigarettes.

The FDA is in the process of making its regulations, however its budget and planning committee thinks it might not be worth the money spent to attempt regulation at a national level.

Since the passage of the 2005 Beltrami County Smoke-Free Ordinance for Indoor Public Places, not one single ticket has been issued for smoking in a place that it was illegal. I do not understand how this "creates a massive headache for enforcement", when there is no one violating the law in the first place.

If one is paying attention, you can easily determine the difference between an e-cigarette and a traditional tobacco cigarette. There is no flame, there is no smoke, there is no smell of smoke and most e-cigarettes look nothing like a traditional cigarette.

The only clear benefit to adding e-cigarettes to our indoor air laws is to bully those who are already trying to quit smoking.

Alex Carlson

Commercial Motor Vehicle Instructor