E-cigarettes gathering steam in the workplace - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

E-cigarettes gathering steam in the workplace

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Computer, phone, e-cigarette. It’s just another item on Jordan Conley’s desk. Computer, phone, e-cigarette. It’s just another item on Jordan Conley’s desk.

Cities across the country are asking the same question and for many, the answer is still up in the air. Should electronic cigarettes hold the same bans as standard cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes were introduced to the market in 2007 and have grown to a nearly $1 billion a year industry. They're battery powered and hold liquid nicotine that is turned into a vapor instead of tobacco smoke. They're marketed as safer than normal cigarettes and something you can smoke anywhere, but doctors aren't so sure.

Computer, phone, e-cigarette. It's just another item on Jordan Conley's desk.

"It's literally air, I mean you can smoke these inside anywhere because nothing's coming out of it, it's just vapor," she said.

She was a pack a day smoker until e-cigarettes changed the game.

"Here recently I've actually quite smoking cigarettes, I don't even want them anymore," she said.

And they're gaining steam, especially in the workplace.

"I don't do it obviously in front of clients, because that's just rude, but I mean, as far as sitting at my desk, I don't have to go on smoke breaks, I just sit there and do it," she said.

According to The Centers for Disease Control, twice as many teens tried e-cigarettes in 2012 than in 2011.

"They are worried that this increased use of electronic cigarettes may actually promote use of nicotine related products, will go into smoking," Dr. Luis Destarac who works at Pulmonary Specialists of Tyler, said.

"They do have some toxic substances in it," Dr. Destarac continued, "the propylene glycol can be metabolizing to a substance that is similar to anti-freeze."

Dr. Destarac also says the data just isn't there yet to determine the long term health effects on the user and those around them. But, just a few drops from one of the cartridges has enough nicotine, if ingested, to be fatal to a child. Businesses have the right to make their own rules about e-cigarettes, but as of now, many are simply allowing them, just like a pen.

The City of Tyler says they aren't considering a ban because they haven't had any complaints. Athens also has a no smoking ordinance, but it doesn't include e-cigarettes.

Other East Texas cities say unless they hear complaints or concerns about e-cigarettes they don't plan on discussing them. New York City is currently taking steps to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in the same places that cigarettes are banned. The New York City Council has scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday.

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