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E-Cigarette Added To Ban

March 26, 2011, 10:03 PM by Austin Hoffman

E-Cigarette Added To Ban
RAPID CITY, SD - As the state snuffs out smoking in many places, the electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, has grown in popularity.

While the smokeless alternative boasts it has "less harmful" bi-products, it is still a cause for concern where health is the main goal.

In 2005, Regional Health in Rapid City adopted a tobacco free policy. Now as technology is progressing, that policy is too.

"It prohibits the use of tobacco, tobacco products, smoking products and smoking devices within the campus of Regional Health," Rapid City Regional Health Human Relations Director Dale Gisi, said.

Gisi said that includes the now popular e-cigarette, but some of its users think the restrictions go to far.

"It's not affecting anybody and if it is, it's affecting the person that's using it," Amanda Pena said.

While Pena can understand the dangers of cigarettes with their second hand affects, with no smell, and usually no smoke, or vapor from e-cigarettes, she doesn't think this ban is necessary. And Gisi said that’s something they expected.

"There are always some folks that are going to have a difficult time with that conversion," Gisi said.

He said they have had people try to use the smoking device in the hospital, but it was never a very big problem.

"We wanted to get ahead of that before it became an issue that we had to address," Gisi said.

And that timing came as a surprise to some.

"I knew it would be coming someday, but I didn't think so soon," Pena said.

While some disagree with the ban, Gisi said they just want to model healthy behavior no matter which side you're on.

"This is one of those, one of those things that we wanted to be a leader in. Again to show a safe and healthy environment for our patients and visitors and staff," Gisi said.

Avera Health and Sanford Health in Sioux Falls have also added the e-cigarette to their tobacco ban policy.

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