Fort Collins is no stranger to strict smoking regulation; but the latest proposal to expand the smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes has some people up in arms.

Electronic cigarettes, or "e-cigs," are battery powered cigarettes that vaporize nicotine and only produce water vapor instead of smoke, so many people use them in public areas where smoking is otherwise prohibited.  But according to the Coloradoan, a new ordinance could ban use of e-cigs in the same way as regular cigarettes.

"We did an informal survey. We had 2,100 responses in March — 48 percent of people said, 'Yes, electronic cigarettes should be regulated like like regular cigarettes,'" city Neighborhood Services Manager Beth Sowder said. Thirty percent of survey respondents disagreed and reported that e-cigarettes shouldn't be treated the same as traditional smoking products.

[via The Coloradoan.]

Opponents of expanding the ban say it's ignorant to put e-cigs in the same category as cigarettes, since the former functions completely differently and doesn't carry the same obnoxious odor and health risks as the latter.

"The ban will give e-cigarettes a stigma they don't need," (Colorado Vapors owners Shane Stringer) said while working at his shop in Fort Collins. "If the city bans it and includes it with tobacco products, then people will think they're just as bad as cigarettes and they're not."

[via The Coloradoan.]

So the real question is: smoker or not, what do you think?