The Fort Worth City Council is considering a ban of electronic cigarette sales to minors, following actions taken by several other cities in Texas and elsewhere.Given the limited science and research, is Fort Worth smart to regulate sales to minors and potentially restrict “vaping” in public places? Or would the ban have a negative impact on health by discouraging a healthy alternative to tobacco smoking? The primary question to be answered regarding whether e-cigarettes should be sold to minors is whether nicotine per se is safe. It isn’t. — Stephen L. Brotherton, Fort WorthAfter smoking for 40-plus years, I was able to walk away from cigarettes six months ago using e-cigarettes. Now, the oil I use no longer has any nicotine in it, only flavors. I would highly recommend trying the e-cigarettes as a way to quit, and I don’t consider it a “gateway” to tobacco, which is rather a silly argument. I’ve yet to meet a non-smoker who vapes. — Pam Sorrells, Fort WorthWhere once one could attend public places and breathe clean air, we are now subjected to giant clouds of vapor filled with irritants. Being forced to breathe these flavored vapors has caused me to have severe breathing problems and allergic reactions that last for days with swollen eyes and face. The city should act quickly and ban the sale of these smoking devices to minors and ban them from public places. — Roberta Giefer, ArlingtonAs a user of e-cigarettes for more than four years, I can say without a doubt that they are one of the most life-changing inventions of all time for smokers and their families.No coughing, hacking or lung-burning mornings for me. No lasting smell or secondhand smoke for others.Ban them for minors — but don’t lump them in with tobacco or ban their use around town.Cigarettes they are not. — Michael Rasor, Fort WorthAfter pretty much chain-smoking for 30-plus years, I asked several doctors about e-cigarettes. Most initially said “no” until asked for a medical or scientific reason. They had none and reversed course to being neutral, citing “emotional first response” and “knee-jerk reaction” to something so closely resembling a detrimental habit. — Phil Holland, ArlingtonWithout FDA guidelines in place, no city should jump the gun with overly ambitious legislation concerning e-cigarettes. I believe the population at large would agree that restricting sales to minors is logical due to nicotine content. As to the “gateway” theorists, they are relying on extremely limited, if any, valid information. — Adam Harris, BurlesonI smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for more than 15 years. I had tried to quit many times and given up. A friend and her husband had quit by using e-cigarettes and urged me to try them. Thanks to e-cigarettes, I haven’t had a cigarette in more than a year. The urge to smoke is gone. The great thing is that you can step down the nicotine content and ween yourself off. It took me two weeks to totally quit. This is the best thing I have ever done for my health. — Richard Acker, Richland HillsI take issue with your description of vaping as a “healthy” alternative.When did nicotine addiction become healthy? E-cigarettes are a lovely way to get young people hooked on nicotine, and once that happens they will do anything to feed that craving. — Don Martin, ArlingtonI lost both my parents to emphysema; my father at 56 and my mother at 62.I grew up in a cloud of nicotine smoke and considered the habit a killer, as it turned out to be.All my graduating class of 1952 are gone but three, me being one. I never smoked! It was promoted widely, from doctors to movie stars. Now come e-cigarettes; clearly a gateway drug to “real” cigarettes. — Don Pittman, ArlingtonSufficient information is unavailable to make a sound determination of the value of electronic cigarettes. Of course, nicotine users cite the smoke as being non-harmful because there is no smell. A similar claim is made by marijuana users and thereby is even endorsed by some medical groups. Laws are to protect people who may or may not have the ability or information to make an educated decision regarding the use of certain products, especially questionable products.All products, such as these, of questionable harm should not be permitted to be sold to the public until proven safe for use. — Grady Fuller, Kennedale
Every Monday, All Points features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. Each week’s responses also bring the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, firstname.lastname@example.org.