St Louis Dispatch
I have been considering writing a letter about e-cigarettes for quite some time now — debating whether or not I had the right to tell a business such as Supreme Nicotine they should not be allowed to demonstrate their product, or to tell a mall to change its polices — but after recently visiting the Galleria and seeing how busy the mall was with holiday shoppers, I’ve decided to write a letter to get the Galleria mall, West County mall and any other shopping centers that currently have e-cigarette kiosks to extend their smoke-free policies to e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes may be able to serve a purpose as a smoking cessation aid, but there is not substantial research that supports this, and regardless of whether or not it is, the mall is not the right place to market the product. The use of e-cigarettes should be banned, just like any other form of smoke, indoors in public places. Since e-cigarettes look so similar to real cigarettes, others may see someone smoking and believe they can smoke in this public place too.
I urge the Galleria mall, West County mall and all other shopping centers to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes indoors. ‘Tis the season for smoke-free shopping, and maybe for some of you, ‘tis the season to quit smoking.
Ryan Bell • St. Louis