Terry Cline, Oklahoma's health secretary, disagrees, saying that e-cigarettes are not marketed as cessation products and should not be treated as such until further study can be done.
Cline added that secondhand smoke from e-cigarettes can, in fact, be harmful.
“It is a myth that the vapor is only a water vapor,” Cline said.
“It does, as indicated by research, contain chemicals that are vaporized into the air. So there is secondhand exposure to that.”
Cline said as the head of the executive branch of the state government, it is Fallin's job not only to promote a healthy work environment and pay for the health care costs of the state's employees, but also to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the thousands of Oklahoma citizens who utilize state property.
“Oklahoma is a large employer,” Cline said. “This particular employer wants to make sure there is a safe environment that provides clean air.”
Cline also noted that the Legislature plans to take further steps by introducing measures that would regulate the product by prohibiting its sale to minors.
Cline urged caution to those who use e-cigarettes, stressing that the product still requires extensive research.
He encouraged those trying to quit smoking to use proven cessation tools such as the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at (800) 784-8669.