King County considers ban on electronic cigarettes

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 14, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

SEATTLE -- Electronic cigarettes are a popular way to get around Washington's smoking ban, but King County is now considering banning them too.

For five years, the deal for customers at the Roxbury Bowl and Casino has been no smoking unless its an electronic cigarette, one that delivers a vaporized charge of nicotine without burning tobacco. There is no second-hand smoke from electronic cigarettes.

Ron Davenport is the general manager of Roxbury and says they helped his wife quit smoking.

"In probably a six-month period she was forgetting to pick it up, and never smoked again," he said.

But King County health officials want to outlaw the product, banning them from use in public places and restricting their sale to people over 18.

According to King County health inspectors, the battery operated butts are often mistaken for the real thing. Smokers have been feeling emboldened to defy the law, light up and fill the air with real cigarette smoke.

The King County Board of Health will vote on the ban Thursday. It is expected to pass.

Health officials in Pierce County tell KING 5 News they are considering a similar ban.

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