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Local News

December 26, 2013

State ban on e-cigarettes won't affect Ada ordinance

Ada —

Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to ban e-cigarettes on state-owned property won’t affect Ada’s ordinance restricting use of the devices, city attorney Frank Stout said Tuesday.

“I think that shows we’re on the cutting edge,” he said. “We’re the first ones to do it.”

Fallin issued an executive order Monday outlawing the use of e-cigarettes on all state-owned and state-leased property, including vehicles. She said she was concerned about the devices because they are not regulated and their long-term effect on people’s health is unknown.

“E-cigarettes release vapor that contains chemicals that can impact employees and visitors to state property,” she said in a news release. “Additionally, many electronic cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes and emit a vapor that looks like smoke. This creates confusion for employees and visitors and presents enforcement challenges for state agencies.”

The ban will take effect Jan. 1, giving state employees who smoke or use e-cigarettes time to consider ways to stop smoking.

Ada City Councilman Bryan Morris said he thought Fallin made the right decision.

“I can’t say it was really surprising, but I’m glad she did it,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

Fallin’s decision came two years after she signed an order banning tobacco products on state property. That order is now permanent under state law.

Sean Gore, president of the Oklahoma Vapors Advocacy League, said Fallin should have allowed lawmakers to develop regulations governing e-cigarettes.

“While we applaud the governor’s effort to keep Oklahomans safe, we feel the Legislature should have been given the opportunity to investigate all of the facts before the government simply issues an all-out ban on state property on a product whose safety is based on actual facts," he said in an emailed statement.

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