ATLANTA (WXIA) -- On Thursday, the FDA took a firm stance that it will regulate e-cigarettes and vaping products, banning them from minors. The decision sparked a debate that could send users out of restaurants and bars the same way a smoking ban did years ago.
“There is this acknowledgement that yes, vapor products are less harmful than tobacco products,” said Clarkston mayor Ted Terry.
He considered Thursday’s FDA decision very carefully. The move to regulate e-cigarettes the same way as tobacco could have an impact on how Clarkston City Council votes on a proposed Vaping Ban preventing the use of e-cigarettes indoors.
“How do we secure individual rights, not try to be over-burdensome with our regulations, but again try to take a public health approach that shows we can reduce underage vaping,” he asked.
The FDA rule prohibits the sale of "covered tobacco products" to individuals under the age of 18 and requires health warnings on the package. That would affect e-cigarettes, e-hookah, vape pens and more.
"I think the good news is that now that the FDA is willing to regulate vapor products, I think we’re going to be looking to make sure we can really study the actual effects of second hand smoking, which so far have proven to be less harmful than second hand tobacco smoke,” Terry said.
Clarkston’s proposed ban is similar to one in effect in Decatur and Savannah.
However the mayor says it took on a lot of controversy at its first public discussion so they’re in the process of fine tuning it before it’s up for a vote.