Tucked in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is a melting pot of artists, professionals, and free thinkers. The city has a well known “hippie” vibe, but the City Council is pushing for change and they are starting with a ban on electronic cigarettes, despite their immense popularity across the region.
After the public safety committee recommended ecigs be banned from public places, it wasn’t long before the City Council voted unanimously to kick vaping to the curb. Effective immediately, ecigs are banned on city buses, parks, greenways, and all buildings owned or leased by the city of Asheville.
Councilman Cecil Bothwell defended the decision by claiming that it is backed by research. He told reporters that he conducted “fairly extensive research online” and came to the conclusion that ecigs needed to be banned right away. Deputy City Attorney Martha McGlohen insisted that there was “evidence of toxic chemicals” in ecig vapor and the officials were only acting to protect public health.
It’s frustrating to see the city officials make quick judgment calls on vaping when they obviously did very little research first. We have recently seen a lot of scientific evidence that proves ecigs help people quit. Plus they eliminate secondhand smoke and the vapor contains virtually no toxins whatsoever.
Even though science backs the benefits of vaping, Asheville won’t allow ecigs anymore. If citizens are caught using an ecig on city property, on buses, or even in public parks, they will face a $50 fine. Ecigs are officially outlaws in Asheville’s local airport, the US Cellular Center, the Arts and Science Center, and Pack Place Education. Officials even targeted the local baseball field, calling for ecigs to be banned except in designated smoking areas.
When officials target electronic cigarettes as the enemy, they are setting smokers up to fail. How can a smoker effectively give up tobacco when the devices that help them quit are outlawed? It simply makes no sense from a public health point of view. Do you think the city council has made a mistake with this new rule?