Group fights governor's E-cigarette ban

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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 1/10 6:28 pm Published: 1/10 1:16 pm

E-cigarettes are bringing in big profits for vapor store owners, but they tell FOX23 News that's not why they're fighting the governor's ban on using E-cigarettes on state property.

Two years ago Sean Gore tried E-cigarettes and after 20 years of smoking, and trying everything to stop, he finally kicked the habit.

"I can taste. I can smell. I don't wheeze. I don't wake up with a cough. I don't go to bed with a cough. I can breathe. I just overall, you know, feel better," said Gore.

Gore now owns two vapor stores in Oklahoma and is the chairman of the Oklahoma Vapor Advocacy League.

They organized in March 2013, less than a year ago, and they're ready to fight Gov. Mary Fallin's ban.

"We're growing everyday. We have a voice at the capitol now," said Gore.

FOX23 News found a study, published just two days ago, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It says the E-cigarette industry made $2 billion last year.

But, Gore says money isn't what's driving his fight. He claims money is what's behind the governor's ban. He tells FOX23 News, as people turn to E-cigarettes instead of tobacco products, that drives down tobacco sales, and that means the state's yearly tobacco settlement revenue drops.

"They wanna spread misinformation and fear and try to demonize the E-cigarette, because that's going to make it easier for them to get it excise taxed, if they do that," Gore said.

Gore showed us an email from an E-cigarette industry lobbyist, who sat in on a health committee hearing at the state capitol. The lobbyist claims a health industry representative stated, "We hope E-cigarettes are taxed as tobacco, so health care can get the revenues."

Gore claims this shows why state leaders are worried about E-cigarettes. He says it's not because they are a threat to public health, but because they are a threat to state revenue.

Fallin issued this statement, when she signed the executive order: "Many electronic cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes and emit a vapor that looks like smoke. This creates confusion for employees and visitors and presents enforcement challenges for state agencies."

Gore said OVAL will fight to make sure E-cigarette users don't have to pay a "sin tax," like you do if you buy alcohol or tobacco products. His group argues E-cigarettes are not a threat to public health. He told FOX23 News OVAL does intend to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session to keep E-cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 1/12/2014 8:42 AM
0 Votes
Wether it's natural tobacco or an e-cig the consumer still sucks.

Just Us - 1/11/2014 12:39 AM
1 Vote
Gore is Wrong. He didn't kick the Habbit, he only Switched Bad Habbits. E-Cigs, still have the Addicting Nicotine in them. That's why So Many people are now getting hooked on them. They aren't REALLY for Smoking cessation, you perform the Same ritualistic motions and Still are Sucking in Nicotine. That along with "Flavors" to Draw in Smokers, and Non-Smokers, and Flavors for our Youth, the E-Cig Business is All about Making Money from getting people Hooked on yet another Nasty Habbit. Sucking in Anti-Freeze laden Nicotine with Flavors added, and Spewing out "Vapor" Read that as SPIT lased Chemicals at Others is Disgusting, and Still has Effects on People around them. This Nasty Habbit needs to be Band in Public just Like Real Cigs. If you want to Pollute your air and Suck in Un-regulated Chemicals to your Body, Fine Do It At Home !

Unwashed Mass - 1/10/2014 4:16 PM
1 Vote
Obviously the tobacco lobbyists pay off more politicians like Failin than the Ecigarette lobby.
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