TUPELO, Miss.- The Tupelo City Council will meet today to discuss adding e-cigarettes to the smoking ban ordinance.
Most council members believe it is time to vote on the matter and believe it will soon be illegal to use in public.
However, other members are concerned for business owners that sell the e-cigarettes.
Mayor Jason Shelton told WTVA he’s not opposed to including e-cigs in the smoking ordinance if evidence is presented that it’s dangerous to others. But right now, he doesn’t believe the council or the city has had enough time to study the issue.
“I’m against taking away a freedom away without evidence proving it’s harmful,” Shelton said. “If you can’t tell me it’s dangerous, I think we at least need to study the issue.”
If the e-cigarette ban is voted for in Tuesdays meeting, that could mean that Tupelo will be vapor free as early as the first week of September.
Store owner for Amaza Vapors on Main Street in Tupelo said it would be devastating and could ruin his business if the ban was passed.
Amaza Vapors consultant Eric Hampton said, “As I spoke to multiple business owners and being one myself, the e-cigs are really awesome because it helps smokers stop smoking and makes your employees much more productive. My employees have been much healthier and productive because they aren’t going outside ten times a day and they aren’t getting the harmful effects of cigarettes.”
Hampton said he doesn’t believe the council members have enough information and reason to ban e-cigarettes right now. “Vaping is tons, tons, tons healthier for you compared to a cigarette. It doesn’t put out a secondhand smoke like cigarettes, which are harmful to folks.”
Tuesday’s meeting will be held at Tupelo City Hall in the Council Chambers at 6 p.m.