Edgewater City Council’s Efforts to Limit Vaporization

Guest Post from Edgewater City Council Member Myra Keeble

Edgewater just became a little bit healthier. Recently, our City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that expanded the term “smoke” to include more than just tobacco. The new law now includes marijuana language and bars the vaporization of marijuana, nicotine, and other substances, thus making Edgewater the first community in Colorado to ban the use of e-cigarettes and other vaporization devices in the same places where traditional combustible cigarettes are also banned. In recognition of this effort, the Jefferson County Commissioners awarded City Council with the 2013 Public Health Champion of the Year Award.

By banning the use of vaporization devices in work places, in designated areas of City parks, and in bars and restaurants, including on commercial patios where customer service is provided, as well as within 20 feet of any entrance to these establishments, patrons and employees will not be exposed to second hand smoke (including vapor), which has been found to contain know cancer-causing properties such as benzene, diethylene glycol, lead, nickel, and other carcinogens.

While state and local communities are taking the lead on the regulation of e-cigarettes, there is pressure being placed on the Food and Drug Administration to establish stringent regulations. At least 40 U.S. state attorneys general (including John Suthers from Colorado) have urged the FDA to immediately regulate the sale and advertising of electronic cigarettes, stating that the products are appealing to youth and no one is “ensuring the safety of the ingredients.”

Meanwhile, e-cigarette use is booming, especially among you people. Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that in 2011, 21% of adults reported trying e-cigarettes, up 10% from 2010, and for high school and middle school students, numbers doubled each year from 4.7% in 2011 to 10% in 2012.

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