Is vaping rehabilitation or harmful?

Katharine Hada, Social Media Editor

Vape shops may soon become less cloudy as Pleasant Hill’s City Council votes on the indoor vaping ordinance.

The city held an emergency vote at their Oct. 19 meeting. The vote in question was for a proposed amendment in the current ordinance regarding smoking e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” in vape establishments.

Nexus Vapor, a shop in San Ramon, is looking to open a Pleasant Hill location within the next year. However, the council has some questions when it comes to distribution and smoking on premises. Especially concerning minors.

Council member Michael Harris worries about potential issues with the vapor leaving the shop and affecting children and infants in the shop’s surrounding area. Harris claims that studies from major tobacco sellers have shown a correlation with vaping and asthma in children.

Dominic Nudo, a Nexus customer who currently uses e-cigarettes, has said that vaping has helped change his life. Nudo, who began smoking at 14, said that with the help of e-cigarettes he has been able to lower his nicotine intake; going from a pack and a half of cigarettes a day, down to 6 milligrams of nicotine in his vape – the smallest possible nicotine amount offered.

Nudo said, “I am finally happy with who I am because I quit smoking. I have confidence again and can not be constricted with cigarettes,” He no longer has to worry about smelling of cigarettes when going to interviews or important meetings, and has reduced his nicotine intake considerably.

To further Nexus Vapor’s plea, Grace Borgonia read a letter from an anonymous Nexus customer, which highlighted Nudo’s claims, reading, “Vaping should be socially acceptable to help smokers quit smoking.”

In response, Pleasant Hill Mayor, Ken Carlson, said, “If this truly works as a rehabilitation device would we even need to regulate smoking anymore?” He failed to see how vaping could potentially be harmful for anyone other than the smoker, stating several times, “It’s called “vaping” because all you exhale is vapor.”

The emergency vote failed to pass with a 3-1 motion, Harris objecting, but the smoking ordinance will be up for discussion again at the next city council meeting Nov. 2.