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City Council takes up indoor vaping ban

The City of St. Joseph may be adding new restrictions to vaping Monday night.

Posted: Oct 7, 2019 2:22 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2019 2:23 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The City of St. Joseph may be adding new restrictions to vaping Monday night.

The City Council will take up a proposed indoor smoking ban for vaping. The ordinance is part of the Monday agenda during the regularly scheduled meeting.

The ordinance will mirror similar restrictions for cigarette smoke including restaurants, schools, bars, stores, and any other public space enclosed.

The Centers for Disease Control confirmed a total of 12 deaths of lung illness related to vaping Friday. The CDC also has received a total of 1080 reports of lung injury related to vaping.

In response states and smaller municipalities have implemented partial or full bans on e-cigarettes including Michigan, New York, and Oregon.

Mayor Bill McMurray said the city’s ban is different.

“There’s been no discussion of an all-out ban that I know of,” McMurray said. “This is a very narrow interpretation just indoors so if you are in a restaurant and you want to vape, you’ll have to step outside to vape. In the same manner that if you want to smoke a cigarette you have to step outside.”

If the ordinance passes, it will take effect in 60 days and would carry up to a $50 fine if you break it.

According to the text of the ordinance, health officials pushed for the ban because of the rise in young adult and teen vaping.

19-year-old Zyan Smith regularly vapes and said he is against the ban.

“You can’t get second-hand cancer from vapes,” Smith said. “It’s not the same. I don’t think you want to smell tobacco when you are trying to eat.”

The city ordinance also cites the lack of information about the effects on the health of the smoker and those inhaling it second-hand.

“This will help ensure that both the identified and currently unidentified secondhand effects of vapor products are mitigated,” according to the ordinance.

While Vape shops and retail advocates argue that the real dangers of vaping come from products sold illegally on the black market, federal officials say they are still investigating and cannot pin-point what is making people sick.

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Warm air is in place over northeast Missouri and northeast Kansas on Wednesday. Temperatures made it into the lower 50's on Wednesday. A warm up is projected to stay in place for Thursday. Then a cold front will work its way through the region Thursday night with cooler weather behind it for the end of the week.
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