Commissioners opt not to ban e-cigarettes on county property

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX - On Tuesday Grayson County Commissioners debated adding e-cigarettes to the County's smoking ordinance, which already bans smoking on county property. It was a big decision, and not everyone agreed on the outcome.

Vaping, or enjoying an e-cigarette, is something you can still do on Grayson county property.

"I don't believe in smoking. I think it should be outlawed in public places," said Grayson County commissioner Phyllis James.

James was one of two commissioners who voted Tuesday for a ban on e-cigarettes on Grayson County property.

"I believe that the e-cigarettes are unregulated, and anything that's unregulated should not be allowed on county property or a county vehicle," said James.

Grayson County Health Department director Amanda Ortez presented research to the court.

"I know there are positives along with the negatives, so it just depends on how the person weighs in," said Ortez.

Ortez says there aren't many studies from the CDC or the FDA on e-cigs yet, and commissioner Jeff Whitmire says that's why he opposes the ban at this time.

"I am not a fan of government becoming overly restrictive of people's rights, and if there is a true health hazard then we need to bring that up, but it's too early in the game for that to be determined."

Shelby Williams of Texoma Vapors is glad commissioners voted against the ban on e-cigs. Williams says they help people stop smoking.

But James says this debate isn't over.

"I think it will come back. I think it will open up a problem here in the courthouse."

Ortez says she worries about teens being attracted to different flavors of vapor, and right now there are no age restrictions for buying a e- cigs.

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