DeSoto County considers e-cigarette ban - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DeSoto County considers e-cigarette ban

A ban on e-cigarettes? It is a discussion being had by lawmakers across the Mid-South. A ban on e-cigarettes? It is a discussion being had by lawmakers across the Mid-South.

(WMC-TV) - A ban on e-cigarettes? It is a discussion being had by lawmakers across the Mid-South.

A sign outside DeSoto County's administration office says it is smoke free. Leaders already banned employees from smoking e-cigarettes inside county buildings. Soon, the general public could be forced to smoke the vapor outside.

"I think it's kind of crazy that people still consider it [e-cigarettes] smoking," said Brandon Bethune, who works in DeSoto County.

E-cigarettes are the only things Brandon Bethune smokes anymore, but he is limited on where he can puff inside private businesses.

"Most of the time, you walk in, and they be like, 'Oh, you gotta go back out,'" he said.

DeSoto County leaders want to ban everyone from smoking e-cigs inside government buildings like the courthouse, the sheriff's department, and even the welfare offices. Until the FDA regulates the product, it is a matter of public health.

"If they rule that e-cigarettes are safe than we would remove the restriction from the public," said DeSoto County Administrator Vanessa Lynchard.

The attorney general will have to issue an opinion on whether a public ban violates the law. An opinion and ban could come in the next two months.

Shelby County does not have a policy for e-cigarettes yet, but it is in the works. A ban in all of Shelby County's county buildings could come as soon as this summer.

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