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Will Bans of E-cigs Come to Wichita Falls?

Currently the Centers for Disease Control has no regulations on E-cigarettes.

More and more people are puffing on electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking.

But, users have been banished in Oklahoma, where Govenor Mary Fallin signed an executive order to prohibit the use of E-cigarettes on all state-owned and leased property.

Currently the Centers for Disease Control has no regulations on E-cigarettes.

They say they are still looking into the health risks. But with the Governor's move in Oklahoma, some civic leaders in the lone star state may start looking at their options.

They say looks aren't always what they appear to be, and that smoke, is actually water vapor.

It's how E-cigarette users get a hit of nicotine.

E-cig companies say that's why they are a healthier alternative to traditional smoking, but health officials don't necessarily agree.

What we do know is many of them still contain nicotine and they contain some level of carcinogens in them, so from a public health standpoint, we do not consider them a safe alternative to cigarettes,” said Lou Kreidler, from the Wichita Falls Wichita County Health Department.

Currently E-cigs are not regulated by the CDC.

But Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin, recently banned the devices on all state owned and leased properties.

The move has made other state, city and county leaders in Texas and across the country take notice.

However, civic leaders in Wichita Falls say they have no plans to follow suit, for now.

It's too new of an issue. I don't even know what my thoughts are on E-cigarettes frankly. We are a little bit premature saying we are going to ban E-cigarettes when it hasn't even been brought to us by the health department,” said Mayor Glenn Barham.

But, the local health department has instituted its own policy.

Last year the department's offices became a "tobacco free campus" which includes E-cigarettes.

So while there may not be plans to regulate electronic cigarettes now, that doesn't mean there won't be soon. 

I think as we look forward to the future we are going to as a community look at the issues and see if it is something we want to regulate in our community,” said Kreidler.

In the Dallas area, Richardson now requires a special permit for the sale of E-cigs to minors.

Mansfield created a six-month suspension on new E-cigarette stores until they can get more information.

In other states, like New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota the devices are ban where smoking is already prohibited.

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