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Local

Public hearing reviews ban on e-cigarettes

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It's up to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz now, as the fight over electronic cigarettes and a potential ban continues.

If the county executive were to judge the issue by the crowd which turned out Wednesday for a public hearing on a ban approved 9-1 by legislators, he wouldn't go along with the ban.

Because it's a Local Law, the county executive must approve or veto it.

This is the latest of a series of public hearings on the issue, dominated by supporters of the e-cigs who usually say they help people quit smoking.

"Both my mother and my father used to smoke cigarettes and now, they do not. Now, they use electronic cigarettes," said 11-year-old Riley McNamara.

"I am very happy that both my parents quit smoking cigarettes and are now vaping. When they used to smoke, I was afraid for their health and for my own due to the chance of second-hand smoke. I didn't like that they were smoking in our home and smoking around me, my sister and brothers."

Opponents of the ban say it would mix them with tobacco smokers and that might push them back into cigarettes instead of vaping.

Ban supporters say there are dangerous chemicals in the smoke, including nicotine, and that shouldn't be encouraged.