Maryland Trying to Figure Out How to Feel About E-Cigarettes

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Photo by Michael Dorausch
Photo by Michael Dorausch

Electronic cigarettes may be a godsend for cigarette smokers who have been unable to quit. But the tobacco-less nicotine vaporizers have become a real brain-buster for anti-smoking activists.

A bill in the Maryland House of Delegates would broaden the definition of smoking to include smokeless vaping, which would subject the practice to the Clean Indoor Air Act.

But while the push to prohibit conventional smoking hinged largely on the dangers of second-hand smoke, the fight over e-cigarettes is more abstract. Do we want teachers vaping in front of their students to become a “social norm”? Does their public use entice kids who will later switch to cigarettes? (Though, personally, I can’t imagine any young person with aspirations to coolness being seduced by the odd-looking, lightbulbed tubes.)

There are passionate arguments on both sides, and however this legislation shakes out, I’m sure we will be duking it out over this issue for years to come.

 



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