Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has ruled that use of a nicotine vaporizer, also known as an "e-cigarette," doesn't violate the state's indoor smoking ban, the Washington Post reports. The heated vapor the devices emit doesn't constitute "smoke" as the word is "commonly understood," Cuccinelli decided, so Virginians are free to light up in restaurants and other public places.
An American Cancer Society spokesman is quoted by the Post as saying the ruling "would really be turning back the clock on what we're trying to do in Virginia to create smoke-free workplaces and environments that promote health."
"Who are they to tell smokers they can't use these devices to quit, because some smokers might use them to get around the state's smoking ban?" asks Dr. Ross. "It's like saying, keep on smoking."
"The ACS is basically saying, 'Just stick with the real thing — cigarettes','" says Dr. Whelan, who praised Cuccinelli for his ruling. "Someone with scientific knowledge got to him and explained the facts."