Steve Nair from Mountain Oak Vapors asked the Bradley County Commission on Monday afternoon to exclude e-cigarettes from any future tobacco product bans.
He urged them to let individual business owners decide whether or not to allow customers to smoke them within their stores.
He said he was concerned that Bradley County would do something similar to East Ridge, which is considering a city-wide tobacco product ban.
He said in terms of helping people stop smoking cigarettes, "We believe that these products are life changing and revolutionary.
We believe that they are beneficial to public health."
Commissioner Terry Caywood pointed out that a ban could hurt certain businesses.
Vice Chairman Adam Lowe told everyone that no matter what, the situation in East Ridge would be different because as a city, they could pass a city-wide ordinance. He said Bradley County did not have that authority.
He also noted that e-cigarettes are not technically tobacco products. They contain nicotine but not tobacco.
He said, "The terminology matters...(E-cigarettes) have really been there to remove people from some of those products."
Commissioner Jeff Yarber said to Mr. Nair, "I think what you said hits the nail on the head. Business owners should be able to decide...I think wanting to ban things opens the door for big government and I'm highly opposed to big government."
Mr. Nair said some of the government opposition to e-cigarettes comes from the fear that they make smoking appear normal again.
He said, "There is still a lot of research being done."
Commissioner Yarber asked him to provide the commission with the research studies he had.