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E-cigarette users battle for common ground

County could reconsider stance

Ryan Ryke, left, and Noah Richardson, of Awesome Vapor in Cumming, say they quit smoking once they used e-cigarettes. Aldo Nahed. (click for larger version)

People who've quit their cigarette addiction, signed and dated their last pack and left them at Awesome Vapor. (click for larger version)
June 17, 2014
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — In its bid to align electronic cigarettes with tobacco products, Forsyth County Commissioners got a lot of new information and opposition.

At their June 5 meeting, several people spoke in opposition to the change that could ban the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vaporizers, in county buildings and parks and recreation facilities. None spoke in favor.

The law would allow the use at designated areas alongside tobacco smokers.

This is where Commissioners got it all wrong, said Noah Richardson, who works at Awesome Vapors in Cumming and is one of the leaders opposed to the change on social media.

Richardson along with Ryan Ryke and Steven Bryant started the 600-member Facebook group "North Atlanta Vape Squad." They say it's not right to lump them in with tobacco product users.

"We wanted them to understand that e-cigarettes are not harmful and they do not need to be classified as a tobacco product," Richardson said. "They wanted to classify us as a tobacco product and have us go and sit with smokers, but we don't want to be exposed to second-hand smoke."

Richardson said he started using e-cigarettes to get away from the harmful chemicals that are in cigarettes.

A Boston University School of Public Health study found that cigarette smoke contains between 10,000 and 100,000 chemicals, including more than 60 known human carcinogens, while e-cigarette vapor contains about 15 chemicals, of which five are of any significant health concern.

Richardson said the only real harmful chemical is nicotine, which he said is no worse than caffeine.

"Our goal is to get people off of cigarettes," Richardson said. "We are not a cigarette cessation device, we are an alternative. We don't market ourselves as a health product. We are just a safer way."

At the public hearing, Forsyth County Attorney Ken Jarrard said there's no concrete evidence about whether the use of e-cigarettes helps smokers kick their habit.

"They're a source of second-hand exposure to nicotine, but not to combustion toxicants," Jarrard said.

The move toward a ban in county buildings and parks started when constituents contacted a County Commissioner to complain that someone was smoking electronic cigarettes at a library.

Richardson said his group agrees that smoking indoors is not courteous or polite.

"If you use your brain, you're not going to use your e-cigarette in public buildings," he said.

Ryan Ryke, who also works at Awesome Vapors, said being classified as a tobacco product would set their business back.

"We can't let people try out the product and test before they purchase, so it would hurt our business," Ryke said.

The fight to keep electronic cigarettes "vaping" as many call it, united several of the small businesses selling the devices.

"Most businesses you don't hang out with your competition, but we all have a common goal," Richardson said. "We all want to get people out of cigarettes. After all the shops close, we are all one community and we just want what's best for the community."

Forsyth County Commissioners later discussed possibly allowing the use of e-cigarettes in the parking lots of county buildings and parks.

The next public hearing on the issue takes place at 5 p.m. July 3 at the County Administration building, 110 East Main Street, Suite 220, in Cumming.

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  1. report print email
    The joke of second hand smoke
    June 17, 2014 | 11:46 PM

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:


    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What's more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    "I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs," said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study...........................

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

    anywhere USA
  2. report print email
    SHS chemical makeup!
    June 17, 2014 | 11:48 PM

    Yet a simple look at the chemistry shows us that its:

    About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it qickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

    4 % is carbon monoxide.

    6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms......
    (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

    anywhere USA
  3. report print email
    June 20, 2014 | 07:55 AM

    Smokers stink!

    Elliot Garcia
  4. report print email
    Not appropriate for public use
    June 30, 2014 | 04:41 PM

    I do get headaches when I'm around second hand smoke. How is that not a health issue? Smoke ecigs in the privacy of home. it's a matter of courtesy and respect for others vs. self centeredness of just doing what you want, when you want, where you want and others be damned.

    I love going to restaurants, public places that are smoke/vapor free. Why would we want to back track on progress?

    Public parks should be smoke and vapor free as well.

    There are studies of nicotine being a carcinogen and that is present in the vapor along with formaldehyde and other toxins.

    Also, e cig makers have not disclosed exactly what they are made out of so, the same regs on cigarettes should be applied to e cigs.

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