Washtenaw County banning E-cigarettes indoors in public places

Five years after Michigan banned smokers from lighting up, Washtenaw County is taking the law one step further.

Starting June 18, E-cigarettes will be banned indoors in all public buildings. And county authorities say, it's a sign of the times.

"Obviously in 2003, there wasn't a lot of these products available," said Susan Cerniglia, Washtenaw Public Health. "We wanted to make sure it was clear that we're also including these along with traditional smoking products with our indoor, shared, public spaces."

Those public spaces include city buses, government buildings, even the jail.  But people who "vape" say discouraging E cigarettes will force people to continue smoking real cigarettes.  

"This is definitely a better option said Jacques "JT" Hall, owner of Ace Vapor. 

FOX 2: "Some people say that by putting regulations on E-cigarettes, that you are encouraging people to stick to regular cigarettes.

"Hopefully if folks are interested in quitting, that they are finding resources to help them do that," Cerniglia said.

"It's completely asinine," said E-cigarette user Ben Mack. "This isn't nearly as dangerous as cigarettes. Regular cigarettes contain more than 2,000 nanograms of carcinogenic chemicals in one puff.

"Whereas, an E-cigarette contains only about 8.2."

Washtenaw  public health will enforce the ban against the owner, not the smoker, or vapor users. The first offense is a warning, then a $100 fine which could go up to $1,000 fine for more than three violations in a year.    

The county is not banning all E-cigarettes.

If you choose to use E-cigarettes, you can still use them in your private spaces," said Cerniglia. 

Hall disputes danger talk from secondhand vaping.

Under state law there is no regulation for E-cigarettes - but some members of the legislature are working to change that. 
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