E-cigarette policies blurry among businesses

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) According to business analysts, e-cigarettes are a $1.5 billion industry and business is on the rise. However, do you know where you can legally smoke them?

“They came to the United States in about 2006, 2007 and the use has really skyrocketed since that,” said Miranda Spitznagle, Commission Director for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission, Indiana State Department of Health.

Bryce Fox, Manager of Arena Bar and Grill on Fort Wayne’s north side said he first noticed e-cigarettes at his business this past winter.

“More people started using them, that way they didn’t have to go outside and stand in the cold,” said Fox.

Since, the trend has grown gradually.

“We don’t have an official policy, but we allow them in here as of right now,” said Fox.

According to Spitznagle, as with a cigarette, you have to be at least 18 years old to light up.

However, the statewide smoking ban does not include e-cigarettes. So it’s up to each individual business.

“The use of those products is not happening in most work places,” said Spitznagle.

Still, Fox said very few of his customers even use them and he’s never gotten a complaint.

“Until some legislation comes down for or against it, you know, it’s just really be based off of what my customers ask of me,” said Fox.

Last month, the city of Chicago included e-cigarettes in its smoking ban.

“I would not be surprised if that continues to take place. I think for other communities across the country that implemented similar laws to Chicago’s that same week. So, we’re seeing more and more of this happening across the country and that really is the recommendation from a public health perspective,” said Spitznagle.

Several other businesses, including Chevy’s Pizza and Sports Bar allows e-cigarettes. J K O’Donnell’s doesn’t. Mad Anthony Brewing Company Owner said e-cigarettes are growing so fast, they’ll have to develop a policy.


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