Area restaurants, businesses go ‘Vape Free’

PENDER COUNTY (WECT) — The Pender County Health Department is inviting area businesses to go “Vape Free.” They have sent businesses and restaurants a letter explaining the campaign, a fact sheet about e-cigarettes, and a “No Vaping” sign they can put on their door.

“We’ve been really pleased with the response,” said Carolyn Moser, the Director of Health and Human Services for Pender County. “It is really nice when you can walk into a restaurant and see that ‘No Vaping’ sign and know that you don’t have to worry about that second-hand smoke.”

While it is not illegal to smoke e-cigarettes in restaurants, about a dozen restaurants and businesses have agreed to ban it inside their doors including, the Food Lion in both Burgaw and Surf City, the Subway in both Rocky Point and Burgaw, Bandana’s Family Restaurant and Grille, Kirkwood Grill, Island Delights, Beach Bunny and Sushi Gem.

“The vapor in these e-cigarettes still has toxic chemicals that are carcinogens, formaldehyde, there are heavy metals that are in them, and it is not healthy for the individual who thinks it is simply a water vapor. They are also exhaling those pollutants into a closed area and forcing others to breathe it in,” Moser explained.

“The customers come first,” said Cheryl Baker, the General Manager of the Burgaw Subway. “They don’t want to come in here and smell any kind of vapors. We don’t know if they are allergic we just try to provide a clean environment for our customers.”

Those over at Bandana’s Family Restaurant & Grille agree. They say they need to protect the needs of all of their patrons and while vaping is still allowed outside and in the secluded bar area, it is not allowed inside the dining room.

“I thought it was nice when I saw it on the front door,” Kevin Hoselton said. “I think it’s nice because you don’t have the smell.”

Even one of their employees who vapes himself agrees.

“You shouldn’t be able to disturb everybody else’s meal,” Hugh Horton said. “Back when vaping first started it was a little puff, nowadays you are getting a huge cloud.”