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Lincoln council adds e-cigarettes to ban on indoor smoking

e-cigarette | vaping
Posted at 3:24 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2020-12-30 08:36:33-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Lincoln City Council has voted to ban vaping in public spaces and work sites, adding e-cigarettes to the city ban on indoor smoking of tobacco products.

The council voted 7-0 for the ordinance Monday, which takes effect in two weeks. The council rejected an attempt to delay to delay implementation so vape shops could seek exemptions.

“This is a small change,” City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick said at the meeting. “It’s not putting them (vape shops) out of business.”

Sarah Linden, president of the Nebraska Vape Vendors Association, argued the ordinance conflates the dangers of smoking cigarettes with vaping, which she said is less harmful and a safe measure to help people quit smoking.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Board of Health endorsed the idea last month and introduced the ordinance. Worker safety, cancer prevention and heart health advocates testified in support of the ordinance.

E-cigarette aerosol can contain potentially harmful substances, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll in the outbreak of a mysterious lung illness linked to vaping has reached 52, the center said last week.