Electronic smoking devices added to town ordinance

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, the town board adopted an ordinance amending the Berthoud Municipal Code addressing the use of smoking tobacco and the use of electronic smoking devices in public places.

The changes made to the existing ordinance, which governed the use of tobacco, does not impact that segment of the citizenry.

Chief of Police Sargent Jim Anderson requested the statute be amended to give the officers of the police force the tools needed to address a new threat that has emerged in the last few years, especially among high school and middle school students. That is the practice of vaping.

What is vaping? According to the website Vaping360.com, vaping is “the act of inhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or personal vaporizer. E-cigarettes are portable battery-powered devices that vaporize e-liquid – a mix of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, water-based flavorings, and optional nicotine.” Anderson stated the active chemical from cannabis (marijuana) plant THC can also be vaped.

The article continues, “Vaping’s a hot topic these days. It’s no wonder why people want to know what it is. It has ignited one of the biggest debates in public health history and has found its way into just about every newspaper and TV news show. There are at least 10 million Americans who vape currently, and more than two million of them no longer smoke cigarettes at all. Worldwide the number is harder to be sure about, but there are likely to be 30 million or more vapers, many of which stopped smoking because of it.” Vaping360.com is a pro-vaping website and needs to be viewed and information gleaned from it treated as such.

At the town board meeting of Sept. 11 Anderson stated the primary concern of the school resource officers (SROs) is the increase in the practice they are witnessing among the youth in the community. He pointed out the vaporizing mechanism can easily be hidden from view and used clandestinely. Also of concern is the fact there is almost no odor associated with vaping, which makes it difficult to detect someone who is vaping.

Here are some facts in support of the ordinance:

While e-smoking devices do not contain tobacco, they contain liquid nicotine or other liquids which are created by heat by an electronic ignition system and inhaled by the user. The Food and Drug Administration has conducted laboratory tests on various vaping devises and found that, depending on the liquid used in the device, a variety of toxic chemicals and carcinogens are produced.

Just because vaping cannot be readily detected by sight or smell, it does not follow that the use of e-cigarettes or other vaping devices in areas frequented by, or open to the public, would not be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the public.

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