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Tempe City Council Bans E-Cigarettes In Public Places

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(photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

(photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

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TEMPE, Ariz. (CBS Las Vegas) – The Tempe City Council has banned electronic cigarettes from being used in restaurants, bars and enclosed public places in the city.

Some citizens opposed the ordinance, but the city council voted 5-1 Thursday to approve the ban.

“I think that’s a loss for me as someone who’s trying to avoid (smoking),” Charles Ory, who has been trying to kick the habit for about 20 years, told KTVK. “Gum, patches, cold turkey — you name it, I’ve tried it.”

Ory explained that he then moved on to trying e-cigarettes.

“It’s been amazing,” he told KTVK. “It’s a wonderful alternative to smoking.”

Some Tempe business owners are also against the ban and feel that they should be able to decide whether smoking them is allowed in their businesses.

“Please don’t banish all the people to the smoking section who just got free of tobacco,” Lee Phemister, a former smoker who opened Snyergy Vapor Labs to help others quit smoking, told KTVK.

He believes the city council decided to ban e-cigarettes in public places because of the fear of the unknown.

“Because it looks like smoking then it must be smoking, so therefore, it must be harmful for you,” Phemister told KTVK. “This kind of decision is best off left in the hands of the business owner.”

But Ory shared that the ban could have a negative impact on people who are trying to quit smoking cigarettes or from using tobacco products.

“Just the secondhand smoke alone, I think, is a big setback for people who are looking for alternative to cigarettes,” he said to KTVK.

The City Council did explain that it would reconsider the ban if there is new research on e-cigarettes.

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