Should e-cigarettes be banned in public places? The Broome County Public health department thinks so and proposed the idea to the county legislature.

Sharon Fischer, coordinator for the health department’s Tobacco Free Broome and Tioga program, tells the Press and Sun Bulletin, research shows the vapor contains chemicals that pose a health risk to the smoker and those nearby.

“They emit ultrafine particles and toxins that are known to cause cancer, specifically, formaldehyde and heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. Generally the toxin levels are lower than what comes off a regular cigarette, but in some cases, especially with the metals, there are higher levels.”

Health Department Director Claudia Edwards said a ban would protect indoor air quality.

“Putting the message out there that it’s OK for young people to do this — you’re creating a behavior that we’ve been fighting for 30 years to reverse. And it’s working. In studies they’ve done across the nation, high school kids are taking to this and then transferring it over to cigarette use. Kids that would never smoke a regular cigarette are drawn to this.”

The Legislature will have to take up the issue and vote, but they aren't expected to take action until September at the earliest.

Nine counties in New York State, plus the five New York City boroughs have already banned e-cigarettes in indoor public places.

Should e-cigarettes be banned in public places?

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