Wichita Falls Could See Ban on E-Cigarettes

It's been about 20 years since the city of Wichita Falls last made regulations on tobacco use. But, now, the Wichita Falls, Wichita County Health Department is looking to make revisions to the ordinance, which could include e-cigarettes.

Those with the health department say it's too early to say exactly what a revised ordinance would look like, but they say they'll be looking to other cities in Texas that have already made changes to include e-cigarettes.

But, not everyone agrees the same regulations needed for tobacco should be placed on e-cigarettes. Lynn Marshall, who says e-cigarettes helped him stop smoking is one of them.

“I've tried the little tiny cigarettes and they are not powerful enough. I have tried the gum it's not powerful enough, it didn't do the trick. Finally, I tried this because a friend tried it. It feels like a cigarette when you inhale it, you are getting a little bit of the nicotine, none of the chemicals, none of the tar, none of the harmful stuff,” he said.

Lynn's new love for electronic cigarettes could be eliminated in certain parts of Wichita falls and Wichita County, when the health department updates its regulations on tobacco.

“Any ordinance that we will bring forward will have e-cigarettes included in them in the same manner that tobacco is included,” said Director of Health, Lou Kreidler.

While the habit mirrors traditional smoking, enthusiasts of the battery powered nicotine vaporizer say there is no tobacco used for e-cigarettes, which is why they should not be included in the ordinance.

“An e-cigarette is water vapor. It's not smoke, it's not something that is burning, its not something you light, it's not the same thing,” said Duane Holloway from Stogie's Vapor.

Not the same, but Lou Kreidler says its still not good for your health.

“I think anytime you have a product that contains nicotine, which the e-cigarettes do, that is still a product that is detrimental health effects not only to the person using it but to the person that is smelling the vapor that it emits from the e-cigarettes,” she said.

Cities and states across the country have been putting regulations to ban e-cigarettes on their books, most recently Los Angeles and Weatherford, Texas, though the FDA has not yet regulated them.

The health department says they don't have a specific timeline to present recommendations to the city, but they said that could take place sometime this summer.

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