ADA, OK -- Smoking is now prohibited on all public city property in Ada and that includes the smoking of e-cigarettes. Heather Richardson, owner of Darkside Vapors, says it's wrong to put smokers and e-smokers in the same category.
"Vaping vapors is not tobacco and we don't like being lumped in with tobacco," Richardson said. "Our customers, the owners, we've all quit smoking. We vape. We don't have anything to do with tobacco products."
Richardson says e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and the juices that they vaporize are FDA approved. But Councilman, Guy Sewell, says e-cig users should not be treated differently from other smokers.
"We're talking about lifestyle choices that are in the same batch there, so I think it would be almost unfair to smoke e-cigarettes which could still potentially have some health hazards associated with them as compared to cigarettes," Sewell said.
He says mirroring the state law that prohibits smoking on property owned by public entities, and including e-cigarettes will help keep residents from smoking of any kind.
"We're trying to get people to stop smoking, and I agree e-cigarettes are a better public health choice than cigarettes, but that doesn't mean they're a better public health choice than no e-cigarettes," said Sewell.
But e-cigarette smoker, Randy McDaniel, feels that the council should have done more research before taking a vote.
"Rights are being taken away, and they need to look into it more," McDaniel said. "Don't punish me vapors, me, other friends of mine for something they know nothing abo ut.
Richardson says there are 2 online petitions and one in the store, and those opposed to the ordinance plan to take it to the city council.