The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

October 11, 2013

E-cigarettes need to be snuffed out

We are opposed to e-cigarette use in public.

No, some don’t have dangerous nicotine and that foul odor or the cancer threat of secondhand smoke or make your clothes smell bad — you know, all the cool things about smoking cigarettes.

But they do look a lot like real cigarettes, and we think that seeing their use in public could lead to the perception that cigarettes themselves aren’t harmful to users. We’re especially concerned about the impact on young people.

Plus, there are more than 250 brands of e-cigarettes and not all are made the same since there is no regulation.

No one seems to know what’s in that “smoke” — it’s actually a vapor — they give off, and who’s to say one is safe while another’s not?

No, there’s too much uncertainty involving e-cigarettes to allow their use in public and they should be put on the banned list just like cigarettes are.

State governments aren’t sitting still on the issue. Attorneys general in 41 states, including Iowa, have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue rules on e-cigarette regulation by the end of October.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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