E-cigarette and vapor-pen users delivered a clear message to the Louisville City Council this week: “Don’t lump us in with smokers.”
The council reviewed an ordinance Tuesday night that would have revised the city’s definition of smoking to more closely resemble the state’s definition, banned marijuana and “electronic smoking device” use in outdoor public places or public meetings, and would have banned all forms of smoking within 15 feet of any doorway, air intake site or open window. After hearing from a number of residents on the use of vapor products, the council decided to postpone its decision until September.
The inclusion of e-cigarettes alongside tobacco and marijuana products in the proposed ordinance brought several speakers to the podium in protest.
Todd Dempster, who owns Elements of Vapor in Arvada, claims there are plenty of studies that show vapor use is safe. He worries a trend has started where municipalities are restricting e-cigarette use before getting all the facts.
Heath Harmon, Boulder County Public Health program director, said roughly 190 communities across the country have approved e-cigarette bans. Had it approved the ordinance Tuesday, Louisville would have been the fifth Colorado municipality to do so. Durango, Edgewater, Lakewood and Fort Collins have e-cigarette bans. Golden and Commerce City also are considering bans.
Louisville was among the first Colorado communities to pass a smoking ban when it adopted its current municipal code 14 years ago.