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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Should Electronic Cigarette Smokers be Allowed to Smoke Inside? Of course not!

A lot of Americans probably don't realize France banned indoor smoking many years ago.  Unfortunately, electronic cigarettes (or vapor cigarettes) are rapidly gaining popularity.  I think the appeal is the lack of tar with the nicotine.  Within a five-block radius of our house, three new e-cigarette shops opened this summer.  All of them sell nothing but e-cigarettes and their accouterments.  E-cigarettes don't look like normal cigarettes here in Europe, like the do in the states.  Also, because the tip is not hot, people hold them with the tip in the palm of their hand, which looks pretty odd.

All this may seem irrelevant to those of us who wouldn't smoke either type of cigarette, but think again.  You see, three times in recent weeks, vapor heads, e-smokers, or whatever you want to call them, have boldly sat down and puffed away inside my local Starbucks!  I was tempted to jump out of my seat and confront them, or ask the employees to do it.  After fuming madly for ten minutes, I caved in and decided not to disturb the relaxed, library-like atmosphere.

Each time I sat there breathing in the fumes exhaled by the vapor head (there's only been one at a time so far), many questions came to mind.  Who the hell do they think they are!?  Don't they know smoking is not allowed inside in France!?  What kinds of toxic chemicals am I inhaling?  What sketchy chemicals are e-cigarette manufacturers spiking the product with to guarantee continued sales while keeping costs to an absolute minimum?  There's no regulation on what goes into e-cigarettes so far, and no testing, so who knows?  The EU passed up a chance to tighten up regulation in December, and the matter is not likely to be brought up again for who knows how long.

So, has anyone else seen this happen?  Unless we set a no-e-cigarette smoking indoors policy soon, us non-smokers in Paris, Europe, the US, and all over the world, could soon find themselves hanging around in a purple haze.  Somebody do something!  Am I the only one who's noticed this and the larger implications?!  Stand up and be counted before e-cigarette-smoking vapor heads drive a Mack truck through this loophole and park it at a restaurant table near you!

This issue is being discussed off and on here and there around Europe and the US.

Yes, You Can in Iowa

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