Businesses Worried E-Cigs Getting Lumped in with Tobacco

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In High School, Emily Kiernan learned smoking tobacco was bad for your health.

“In health classes we always kind of talked about what kind of negative effects it could have on your health,” Kiernan said.

With electronic cigarettes on the rise, the laws to regulate them are catching up.

New businesses, including Champ Vapes in Burlington, base their business on weaning folks off tobacco.

“So what we would do is get people off of cigarettes, match with a juice that they like the flavor and match their nicotine level,” said Champ Vapes Manager Chris Galinas.

The Federal Government announced earlier this month it will regulate e-cigarettes similar to tobacco. Vermont;s Governor signed a bill into law Tuesday that would prohibit vaping in public places where smoking tobacco is banned.

That’s concerning to e-cig users who see a clear difference between the two.

“It’s not smoke, it’s vapor,” Galinas said. “And in most eyes it’s a lot healthier. There’s no tar, no tobacco at all. All these bottles have no tobacco.”

The new Vermont law takes effect January 1st 2017. Places with tobacco bans like Church Street are also affected.

“If you’re outdoors and smoking and not bothering anybody it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Vermonter Paul Sokal.

It will also ban cigarette and e-cig displays on store counters starting thus July. It doesn’t apply to stores like Champ Vapes, because you must be 18 or older to enter the store.

Vermont’s Department of Health supports the legislation, saying e-cigs may damage lung health, vapor can contain harmful toxins and the nicotine still presents health risks.

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