GROVE, OK.--- Electronic cigarettes have been banned on state owned properties in Oklahoma. Grove city leaders have also banned the product on city-owned properties. The city decided to ban the product, saying the vapor could cause harm to others. People who actually smoke the electronic cigarettes believe there is no harm in smoking them. In fact, they claim it's a healthier alternative to cigarettes.
"There is a vapor and there is a lot of claims by different groups out there whether they have been proven scientific or not, that there is still nicotine in that vapor and there may be other carcinogens in that vapor," said Bill Keefer, Grove City Manager.
Grove city officials banned the product after Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed an executive order at the start of this year, prohibiting "vaping" on all state-owned and leased properties. Owner of Vapors Tek, a local store in Grove that sells vapor products, is upset with the city's decision.
"They think that due to the fact that it looks like smoke that it is smoking and it's not. It's merely a water vapor that is basically exhaled," said Kevin Swalley, Vapers Tek Owner.
Swalley started a petition to let the city of Grove know though it carries nicotine, it's not a tobacco product.
"It basically consists of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavoring if so desired and nicotine," said Swalley.
Though vaping has only been around for 8 years, and there is no scientific proven fact it is a healthy way to break a smoking habit, people who switched to vaping believe it works.
"Personally, I feel much better since I started vaping. Not just health-wise, but personally," said Chris Hinkle, Uses E-Cigarettes.
"If at some point in time, someone comes up with some documented scientific information that says this is not a cause of any concern or problem, then we would certainly look at it and reevaluate that in the future," said Keefer.
Swalley has already collected more than 100 signatures and plans to collect as many as possible before handing it over to city officials.