Electronic cigarette users will soon have to butt out nearly everywhere except in their homes after city council voted to add vaping to the existing smoking bylaws.
Council voted Monday to make it illegal to vape wherever regular tobacco cigarettes are banned, including restaurants, bars, cafe, and other businesses. In August council voted to ban e-cigarette use in and within nine meters of city-owned buildings, pools, and seating at outdoor sports facilities.
The latest addition to the smoking bylaw comes into effect Jan. 1, 2016.
E-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke.
Councillor Eric Olauson, who has previously stated his opposition to the motion, was the only member to vote against the ban.
“I think that we are making decisions based on no information at all; based on rhetoric and special interest groups,” Olauson said. “There’s no science on this. There’s no regulation coming from the federal or provincial governments… So I have to ask, what’s next?”
An exemption was made for outdoor use of ceremonial tobacco and vaping shops. Councillor Pat Lorje was the only one to vote against the exemption for shops.
“I feel very sad that we’re even having to have this conversation,” she said during the motion’s debate. “I would have thought that we would have understood that the use of tobacco is inappropriate and is harmful to a person’s health.”
Vapor Jedi CEO Mitch Tarala was disappointed with the overall ban, but saw a silver lining in the exemption for shops like his.
“I think they saw that we’re not a tobacco product and there’s a lot of differences between our product and tobacco products,” he said.
Lung Association of Saskatchewan vice president of health promotion Jennifer Miller said their main concern now is for employees of vape shops who will breath in any particles expelled from e-cigarettes.
“It’s a lot of exposure for the lungs in a 40-hour work-week,” she said.
City administration now needs to define ceremonial tobacco and vape shops before the final version of the new bylaw is complete.