Amarillo, TX - A local group is taking a stance on what they say is a dangerous device.
It's been much debated...are or aren't e-cigarettes harmful?
While the answer is still not clear, some Amarilloans are pushing for a ban.
E-cigarettes. We see them everywhere.
Some say they are bad for users and others argue there is no proof. But Tobacco Free Amarillo says there is enough proof to start a campaign to do away with the products.
"We've seen an alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes in the youth population of Texas," says Director Meg Williams. "We want to highlight the dangers of e-cigarettes. It's not a safe alternative to e-cigarettes. We found that they contain several substances that are common in standard, regular cigarettes."
The group says e-cigarette products contain nicotine, but Black Market Vapes owner Tiffany Lanier says these products have to contain nicotine...as they are used to help smokers quit.
But Tobacco Free Amarillo argues some of the liquids have been associated with lung problems.
"It's not a safe alternative to cigarettes. We don't want kids thinking e-cigarettes are safe and that it's a good alternative to smoking. It's not. And just because we don't know it now, doesn't mean in 10 years we're not going to see some of the same ramifications that we see with cigarettes," says Williams.
Potter County has a policy against the use of e-cigarettes in any county building. Judge Nancy Tanner says in her opinion, it is the same thing as smoking.
"It distracts from people around you. It makes a noise even though there's no order I don't think but it's a vapor and it's smoke, so we banned that too. And I've had not one person come to me and say I did the wrong thing. I say it's probably okay to do that," says Tanner.
And while there's no telling the real impact just yet as the FDA is not regulating the cigarettes, Tanner also says she thinks we will see the effects soon.
"I guarantee you they'll down the line, physicians will say you probably shouldn't have done that vapor cigarette, so I think it's probably going to be a hazard soon. Maybe not as prevalent as as tobacco but I think it's going to be there at some point to an extent," says Tanner.
Tobacco Free Amarillo offers free resources to anyone wishing to quit smoking or vaping.
For more go to tobaccofreeamarillo.com