Prince George's County councilmember considers e-cigarette ban

LANDOVER, Md. (WJLA) - There’s no tobacco in electronic cigarettes and what looks like smoke that comes out is really a vapor.

But some Prince George's County officials aren't sure if e-cigarettes are really safe.

Some smokers sure either.

“Yes I smoke and I am quitting on my own but we don't need another product to imitate smoke to get me to stop,” says Lawrence Jarvis. “Plus, we don't know the chemicals inside it.”

County council member Ingrid Turner agrees.

Even though the package says e-cigarettes contain only glycerin and nicotine, she has proposed a bill that would ban e-cigarette use in public housing and in bars and restaurants.

She says she is concerned that no one knows the long term side effects of being exposed to the devices' vapors.

The bill will have to go before the full Prince George's County council for a vote. It passed it would bring about the first e-cigarette ban in Maryland.

E-cigarettes claim they contain no tobacco and no tobacco smoke and technically under county law you can smoke them in restaurants. But many restaurant owners say they don't allow it.

Charlotte Lowry was a smoker for 25 years and quit a couple years ago. she was leaving a Landover restaurant Monday - a restaurant that states on its door that it’s a smoke free environment.

She says she didn't use e-cigarettes to help her quit and she doesn't want to be around anyone who is using one while she's out to eat.

“You can't take everything away from us we smokers we have rights too,” she says.

Tony brown has been using e-cigarettes for several months to help him cut down on his two-pack-a-day tobacco cigarette habit.

He says it's unfair and unnecessary to place any kind of ban on e-cigarettes.

“Even in movie theaters you can smoke them because it's not smoke - it's just vapors and it's not going hurt anybody,” he says.