St. Peters Postpones Vote On E-Cigarettes

St. Peters may pass its own bill banning the purchase and possession of electronic cigarettes by minors smoking, but consideration of that bill has been postponed to the Board of Aldermen’s meeting on Sept. 25.

The draft bill was on the board’s work session and regular session on Sept. 11, but Barclay asked that action be delayed because the Missouri State Senate voted Sept. 10 to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of an earlier state bill banning their sale.

Barclay said the city should wait for several weeks before passing its own bill. The state law becomes effective in coming weeks. The delay until the end of September will give city officials time to review and discuss its options before voting on its own ordinance.

Senate Bill 841, passed earlier this year, was vetoed by Nixon in July. Nixon said the bill didn’t go far enough because it exempted vapor products from taxes and regulations in place for tobacco cigarettes.

Barclay said he hoped to pass a city ordinance that not only bans the sale and possession of e-cigarettes to minors but forbids minors from entering so-called “vapor lounges” where they can be smoked.

Currently, the city’s draft ordinance would prohibit the sale and possession of e-cigarettes if passed but does not mention vapor lounges.

Barclay said the bill would be modeled after an ordinance approved in July by the Chesterfield City Council. The Chesterfield ordinance bans the sale and possession of vapor nicotine products to anyone age 18 and prohibits minors from entering vapor lounges.

He noted that possession might be difficult to enforce. But Barclay, responding to a question by Alderwoman Judy Bateman (Ward 2) said someone under 18 would violate the ordinance if a police officer finds an e-cigarette in their possession, during a traffic stop.

Violations carry fines ranging from $25 for a first offense to $250 for a third offense.

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