Devil’s Advocate: Why there shouldn’t be a ban on e-cigarettes

e-cigs_stdLast week, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban vaping anywhere that smoking is banned. This means e-cigarettes, including vaporizer pens, will not be allowed in bars, clubs, beaches, parks, restaurants and other places where smoking is prohibited.

The decision to place e-cigarettes and real cigarettes in the same category is outrageous when there is no scientific proof to support it.

Vaping is the latest trend around town and just about anywhere you go in Southern California people are enjoying their flavorful pens.While some of these devices do let off a cloud of vapor when exhaled, that issue concerns only the smokers themselves and should be treated that way.

Inconsiderate patrons are found everywhere. They can be found in bars spewing whiskey breath on their neighbors or on the bus suffocating passengers with their overwhelming perfume.

Is it annoying? Of course, but the problem is with the person not the product.

Those who are considerate about where and how they vape shouldn’t be punished.

This ban will have LA joining the list of cities that have prematurely judged the habit. That list includes New York, Boston and Chicago.

These restrictions were put in place before any real issue was and those in favor of the ban are using speculation to argue their case.

Some have said that e-cigarettes look too similar to traditional cigarettes, giving children and the public the wrong message about smoking despite the fact that there are endless campaigns to remind people of how bad smoking is in the first place.

Drinking, smoking and vaping are all designed for adults and should be regulated to enforce that.

That being said, placing a ban that includes adult-only establishments, such as bars, doesn’t make sense.

The LA City Council is out to protect grown adults that should be more than capable of making their own decisions about their personal health.

If adults choose to start a habit that is bad for their health, that is their prerogative. No amount of laws or regulations will prevent them from doing what they want.

So why punish everyone else?

Eliminating e-cigarette usage will not eliminate cigarette usage.

If anything e-cigarettes are a way to fight the rising number of cigarette smokers.

There is not enough proof showing the usage of vape pens is a gateway for cigarettes so why not use them to help people already struggling with their cigarette addiction?

With this ban city council is saying that protecting the individual that may or may not be tempted to give vaping a try is more important than helping the decade -long smoker that is using a vape pen as a healthier alternative to cigarettes.

They’re also saying it’s better to send that addict back outside with the real smokers where they will be exposed to the smell of temptation rather than risk someone being attracted to vaping.

Does that make sense? No.

At the end of the day, there is no scientific evidence proving that the effects of vaping or second hand vape smoke is harmful.

Other than being a nuisance to some, it isn’t hurting anyone. If anything the ban is hurting the people that are trying to make positive changes in their lives.

Well done council members.

About Ashlen Dominguez

Ashlen Dominguez is a staff writer from the Spring 2014 COMM 471 class.