Laura Montejano is confident that e-cigarettes helped wean her off her longstanding pack-and-a-half-a-day smoking habit. Whilst standing in the middle of Tobacco Joe’s, an Everett Mall Way smoke shop, Montejano proudly proclaimed it was 104 days since her last cigarette. Montejano, 37, from Woodinville, pointed to her telephone ap that computes precisely what cessation of $7-a-pack smokes has meant in her life — a savings of at least $728.With each cigarette usually taking about seven minutes to smoke, she’s freed-up the equivalent of more than eight days of time.
“My children are delighted; I am thrilled,” she said. Her personal vaporizer was credited by her, also called an e-cigarette, with enabling her to discontinue. “Having it was such a huge thing,” she said. The tubular, battery driven device has a small tank of nicotine-laced liquid. It creates a puffy white cloud, whenever someone takes a draw. It seems similar enough to smoking that questions are now being raised both locally and in other areas of Washington: Is this non-tobacco activity prohibited under the state’s tough indoor smoking ban? Both Pierce and King counties treat e-cigarettes like regular cigarettes, passing ordinances specifically prohibiting their use indoors in public places.”Prior to this, we were getting complaints from pubs and restaurants having customers using all these products in their company,” said Scott Neal, a tobacco prevention supervisor for Public Health — Seattle and King County.If a customer saw someone on the other side of the room exhaling a plume from their e-cigarette, they might erroneously think that regular smoking was allowed, he said.
“It became a issue for bar owners,” Neal said. Doctor. Gary Goldbaum, health officer for the Snohomish Health District, said the agency interprets current bans on smoking in public places to contain e-cigarettes.”We are informing restaurant and bar owners they shouldn’t be enabling use of these devises in their premises,” he said. Goldbaum said he will probably advise the health district’s board consider taking action specifically prohibiting indoor e-cigarette use in public spaces.”We think it would be useful to have a local ordinance that clearly defines that so there is not any issue,” he said.
To-date, the state hasn’t taken any actions to regulate e-cigarettes except to prevent their sale to anyone under age 18, said Tim Church, a state Department of Health spokesman.”Right now, local jurisdictions look to be taking this on and making up regulations and ordinance that work with their communities,” Church said. Questions have been raised over whether e-cigarettes are regarded as a secure option to smoke.”There will be lots of unknowns around these ecigs,” Goldbaum said. “We frankly don’t know if they are harmful and if so, how harmful they might be.”The few studies which were done in the products show that a few carcinogens or toxins might be detected at really low levels in the vapors, he said.
That raises concerns about long-term health effects for the consumer, or vapour, and secondhand exposure, Goldbaum said. Yet even Goldbaum acknowledges that e-cigarettes almost certainly introduce less health threat than tobaccofilled cigarettes. Annie Peterson, who works as a healthy communities specialist for the Snohomish Health District, said she has concerns that if e-cigarettes are promoted as benign, “that’s a big draw for youth.”Peterson said she is also queries whether some of the candy-like flavoring and labeling of the nicotine liquids used in e-cigarettes, with names for example bubblegum, may likewise be subtle attempts at advertising to adolescents. Youngsters may not understand that nicotine addiction can occur with e-cigarettes, also, she said. Yet, sales of e-cigarettes is growing rapidly, with these products available on-line and at area stores. Jeremy Wilson, 33, a Naval officer stationed in Hawaii, and his own wife, Elizabeth Wilson, 32, who served in the naval militia, have announced plans to open an e-cigarette company in the Everett Mall next month.
Joe Baba, operator of Tobacco Joe’s, said the store first started offering e-cigarettes in January, initially just with disposable e-cigarettes and after expanding to reusable vapors.”I found myself in the middle of a landslide of need, being one of the only retailers in the Everett region,” he said. The shop features a “vapor bar,” where clients can have free samples of more than 20 flavors of “juice” as nicotine containers are known. Starter kits can be purchased for $34.99. The priciest vapors, with longer battery life, sell for $150. The vapors may be adjusted so that customers “can select their level of nicotine down to zero,” Baba said. Baba said several customers have said they have been able to transform from cigarette smoking to vaping. “It is a real delight to see,” he said. Baba said the change from conventional to e-cigarettes reminds himself or the progression of technology, “like cell phones versus land lines.”For the first time in 200 to 300 years,” he said, “cigarettes finally have some real competition.”