Buffalo, NY -- While the e-cigarette business continues to grow, some places are banning vaping.
Thursday, the NFTA Board of Commissioners approved a change to NFTA smoking regulations. It is the first step in the process to ultimately ban vaping on and around all NFTA properties.
"Customers were going to our operators saying, hey, there's people smoking in the back of the bus. When they really weren't. But they were the e-cigarettes. It was creating a lot of tension and a lot of false impressions," says NFTA Spokesperson Doug Hartmayer.
Following the lead of Amtrak and New York City, and at the suggestion of many customers and bus and rail operators, the NFTA put the wheels in motion to ban the use of e-cigarettes.
Vaping would no longer be allowed inside all NFTA operated vehicles or within twenty feet of all NFTA buildings.
"We transport thousands of school children every day. And, when they see someone who may be smoking one of these e-cigarettes, what do you think that does? It gives them the impression that it leads them to start smoking. And, smoking, if you go talk to the American Cancer Society or go down to Roswell Park, they're going to tell you it isn't a good thing," says Hartmayer.
"It sort of mimics the action of smoking. I think anything that allows that is a step backward in terms of public policy and public health policy," says Dr. Martin Mahoney of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "I absolutely support the efforts of the NTFA to ensure clean air. We all have a right to clean air."
Roswell Park researchers found e-cigarettes, when used indoors, may involuntarily expose non-users to nicotine.
Perfection Vapes in Depew opened on Black Friday in 2012.
"You're basically getting people to stop smoking. They're going onto something better, vaping," Mahoney.
Most customers come in looking to quit smoking. Employees don't think the proposed NFTA ban will cost them business.
"It's being banned a lot just because people don't understand it very well. It's something new. It's not FDA approved, so it gets people scared just like anything else. You know, they're seeing the vapor and they're just the first thing in their mind comes smoking. They see that there's clouds of vapor so they're going to register it in their minds something that they've known all their lives which is bad," says Jacob Canastraro.
The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes.
The NFTA says it would enforce a vaping ban just like it enforces the ban on traditional cigarettes.
This is not a done deal. The NFTA has to turn the proposal in to the state, which will take a look at it and then give you 45 days to comment before a final decision is made.