The Erie County Legislature takes public comment Monday on a proposal to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public spaces, just as traditional cigarettes are banned.
Vapor Trail Electronics in South Buffalo sells e-cigarettes. Owner Andrew Osborne claims e-cigs are a good alternative for traditional smokers.
"Electronic cigarettes have not been proven in any instance to show an example of the harm that is done to you with traditional smoking," Osborne contends. He claims the proposed regulations put e-cigs in the same bracket as traditional cigarettes and could drive former smokers back to traditional cigarettes.
Roswell Park Dr. Andrew Hyland admits e-cigs are likely a better alternative, but he said they're still not a good one.
"I think the research will show e-cigarette emissions are likely safer than conventional cigarettes but they're not safe. There's levels of formaldehyde and some other compounds which are toxic which can approach levels that you find in cigarettes," said Hyland.
The hearing will be held at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Legislature Chambers of County Hall.