October 25, 2020

City considers adding vape pens, e-cigs into smoking ban policy

A Mississippi city may roll vape pens and electronic cigarettes into its existing smoking ban after businesses have complained about the growing use of the alternative smoking devices.

Vape pens and e-cigarettes are becoming more frequently used and the Oxford leaders are considering a proposed amendment to the smoking ban policy was heard.

The proposal was made by the Oxford Police Department and interim chief Jeff McCutchen spoke to the Board about the need for an amendment.

“We’ve received several questions, and then complaints, by business owners about vape pens becoming the norm and they’ve been asking, ‘what should we do?’” McCutchen said to the Board. “So, we felt it was proper for us to put that vaping language (in the smoking ban ordinance) to follow suit with our smoking ordinance.”

If the Board passes the proposed change anywhere smoking is banned in the City of Oxford, vape pins and E-Cigs will also be prohibited. In the new language of the amendment smoking will be defined as ‘inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, hookah, or other lighted tobacco product in any manner or in any form, including the use of any “electronic smoking device.”’

The amendment continued by defining a electronic smoking device as ‘any electronic device, electronic circuit device, chemical or mechanical heating element device, battery-operated device or any other power device that delivers nicotine, flavor or other substances for inhalation. This term shall include every variation and type of such devices whether they are manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as an electronic cigarette, an electronic cigar, and electronic cigarillo, an electronic pipe, an electronic hookah or any other product name or descriptor.’

A public hearing on the proposed amendment will held during the Board’s next meeting on April 16 at 5 p.m. During the meeting the Board could decide to vote on the amendment following the second reading and public hearing. There could also be a third reading of the amendment during the Board’s first meeting in May.