UPDATE (8/26/14): Smokers looking to get their fix in public places are out of luck.
The DeKalb City Council voted 5-3 in favor of banning smoking on outdoor patios at public places. The ban includes restaurants and bars. E-Cigarettes also fall under the ban.DEKALB- Smoke 4 Less owner Tom Allen sells e-cigarettes, which he says are far safer than regular ones. That's why he is outraged about the possible ban on smoking E-Cigs in public places in DeKalb.
"In DeKalb, you need a $5,000 license to sell [these]. But for $250 I can sell you sheer death" says Allen, referring to the cost of a license to sell conventional tobacco cigarettes.
E-Cigs have been growing in popularity, in part because they can help smokers kick the habit. The devices use vapor to deliver nicotine electronically to the smoker, which bypasses certain health risks, such as tar, contained by tobacco cigarettes. "By banning the [use of the devices] in public areas, you're making it harder for people to quit" says Alex Prohaska, DeKalb resident.
City officials says E-cigs are a pubic health hazard, based on federal government findings.
"The recommendation for the FDA and The American Lung Association say E-Cigs emit substances that are recognizable as toxic and do not have a safe exposure level" says city Attorney Dean Frieders.