Edina is considering banning electronic cigarettes from all public buildings and parks.
The Edina School Board recently added “e-cigarettes” to its list of tobacco products banned on school district property.
Now the city council is looking into options for cracking down on the devices.
“E-cigarette use is already up in high schoolers,” city council member Josh Sprague said at a Tuesday meeting. “Smoking’s out, e-cigarettes are in, so how we mirror that behavior in our public spaces is important.”
E-cigarettes vaporize liquids, allowing smokers to get their nicotine fix by inhaling water vapor. They’re a controversial innovation, with some arguing that they’re a relatively innocuous aid to quitting nicotine. Others, such as council member Sprague, counter that they “lead to cross usage” with cigarettes and spread toxic secondhand vapors. Introduced in the early 2000s, the health effects of e-cigarettes are still being debated.
An ordinance on e-cigarettes will be discussed at the council’s Dec. 17 meeting.“We can’t address whether people can use them inside the city, but we can do this as a land use [issue],” city manager Scott Neal said.
Already, city staff have been asked not to use the devices at work.