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Duncan considers adding e-cigarettes to tobacco ban

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DUNCAN, Okla._Next week, the Duncan City Council will consider expanding their ban on tobacco on city property to include e-cigarettes.

Those who use the battery-powered devices that emit a vapor, instead of smoke, say they understand the city's stance.  But, they're concerned about the precedent it might set. The council is scheduled to debate the change at their next meeting on Tuesday. 

Tobacco products have long been banned on Duncan city property, but now the city wants to include e-cigarettes and vaporizers to the mix. And it's got some local folks scratching their heads, wondering what this potential new ordinance could mean for the future of their business.

T.J. Bess is a manager at the Vapor Lounge in Duncan and he says vaping is what helped crack the code to quitting smoking. And now he says a potential prohibition on the puffing devices in city grounds is something he's not completely against.

"As far as banning this on city property, I'm torn on that. Because I can understand how they say this is our property and we don't want you to do that. And I'm totally okay with that. On the other hand, if they're scared to be associated with the stigma of it, that's not the right reason to ban it," said Bess.

That stigma worries Bess about possible trouble in the future.

"What's going to happen is, if they can get it passed to ban it on city property, the next step is city wide. And then you're looking at you're hurting small business at that point. You're hurting small business and you're hurting something that could save lives. But we also have to respect what they want," said Bess.

As of this afternoon, city officials still weren't sure what exactly the ordinance would entail, but possible prohibition of e-cigarettes will be discussed in full at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

The meeting will be held in council chambers in Duncan and is open to the public.

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