Debate growing over e-cigarettes - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Debate growing over e-cigarettes

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A new report out by the Surgeon General concludes that cigarette smoking kills nearly half a million Americans a year.

This put the price tag of smoking in this country at more than $289 billion a year in direct medical care and other economic costs.

A smokeless alternative many smokers are now turning to are electronic cigarettes. However, E-Cigs have now been banned from most indoor public spaces in Chicago.

So what do diners here in Sioux Falls think about puffing on these electronic cigarettes?

Patrons at a local sports bar have mixed feelings about these electronic cigarettes. Even though these E-Cigs are not real cigarettes, is it sending out the wrong message to children who may be sitting nearby?

Kirk Dietz says we live in a free country and he feels E-Cigs should not be banned in public places.

"If they feel like they want to smoke that inside, that's fine with me. If I don't like it, I can go someplace else," said Dietz.

Some do a doubletake when they see someone puffing on an E-Cig.

"I sometimes have to look to make sure it's not a real cigarette," said Yvonne Perkins. 

"When I first see it, it kind of brought right up to your mind like 'hey you can't smoke in a bar' but I know a lot of people who do use them and they seem to really like them and helps them to quit smoking. So I see that that's good in a sense but when you're at a family restaurant and you're doing it, I just feel like it shouldn't be there," said Joseph Mattingly.

This smokeless alternative to real cigarettes has some thinking back to the days when people were allowed to smoke real cigarettes in restaurants.

"No, it doesn't bother me at all. Actually I feel if they want to have a live cigarette they should be able to. It's their right," said Perkins.

So who should have the final say on electronic cigarettes in public?

"I think it's all up to the owner of the business -- how they want to portray their business," said Mattingly.


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