Health

Lexington could soon become the eighth city in Kentucky to ban e-cigarettes, but it doesn’t look like Louisville will follow suit anytime soon. 

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Urban County Council’s General Government Committee voted 8-0 this week to add e-cigarettes to a 2003 citywide smoking ban.

On Wednesday, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch said establishing a citywide e-cigarette ban is not on the council’s to-do list.

“I don’t think it’s a priority right now and there are several other issues going on right now that are taking up quite a lot of time,” she said. 

Welch said there isn’t enough evidence that e-cigarettes put nonsmokers at the same risk of secondhand smoke exposure as cigarettes. But Carol Riker, of the University of Kentucky Center for Smoke Free Policy, told the Herald-Leader that studies have shown that the vapor released from e-cigarettes contain harmful and toxic substances.

“The science is strong that e-cigarettes pollute the air,” Riker said. “Some of the substances found in e-cigarette vapor include formaldehyde.”

Welch said that the liquid nicotine in e-cigarettes have been proven to be harmful to children, but she said there has been no research to suggest the vapors released in the air pose a potential health risk. 

“The thing with the e-cigarettes is that there is no secondhand smoke. There is a vapor, but that has not been shown to be harmful,” Welch said.

Currently, FDA only regulates e-cigarettes marketed for therapeutic purposes.