Tahlequah Daily Press

March 12, 2014

Vaping ordinance misguided


TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

I don’t doubt the good intentions of the folks at Tahlequah Bringing Everyone’s Strengths Together and the Cherokee County Communities of Excellence Tobacco Control Program. But the logic and reasoning continuing to be used to promote this prohibition is stunning.

I don’t vape, smoke, or use nicotine in any other form. My issue with this prohibition is not even the subject matter itself, but the logic behind it – ideas like, “We need to ban the products because they have not been proved to cause no harm.” It is fairly common knowledge that you can not prove a negative and that is essentially what is being demanded to end efforts of prohibition.

Or perhaps we should consider taking the reasoning being used to promote this prohibition and apply it to other products. Perhaps in order to promote a “consistent message in our community” about health, we should next move to banning Twinkies, candy, and Coke on our city properties, especially since there is no doubt that these products actually do cause harm.

Interestingly enough, one of the main ingredients in the vaping products was unleashed upon patrons of the North End Music Festival last year as fog machines were used. Of course, we would also be remiss if we did not mention the use of alcohol that was also licensed for the event.

Don’t get me wrong: The festival was a good time, and I have no problem with the fog or the beer that was served. I point those things out to say the city leadership should be very careful, deliberate, reasonable, and consistent in the manner it applies ordinances such as is being proposed. The thought process and logic being used to promote the prohibition is very dangerous over a much broader spectrum than just vaping and e-cigarettes.

If this ordinance is passed by the City Council, I’m afraid it will be because of emotion and money, not reason and facts.

Dr. Shannon Grimes