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Lake Saint Louis considers limited e-cigarette ban

The smoking ban in Lake Saint Louis city hall may soon include electronic cigarettes.

The city’s Board of Aldermen is considering drafting an ordinance that would prohibit city employees and anyone coming into city hall at 200 Civic Center Drive from using electronic cigarettes inside the building. City hall includes the city’s administrative offices; meeting rooms, including where board meetings are held; and the police department.

City Administrator Paul Markworth said the ban would extend to city employees using city vehicles.

Board members discussed the issue at a Nov. 2 work session.

Markworth said staff was expected to draft an ordinance for the board’s consideration by its Nov. 16 board meeting (after press time).

E-cigarettes, also known as vaporizing or vapor products, are battery-operated devices that heat a flavored liquid solution containing nicotine turning it to vapor. E-cigarettes supporters say they are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco products. But health authorities are skeptical and fear their use can encourage experimentation with drugs and encourage smoking. Some studies show that the number of children using these products has doubled in recent years and several states and cities have passed legislation restricting who cam buy e-cigarettes and similar products.

Lake Saint Louis and O’Fallon have smoking bans citywide for tobacco products in indoor spaces – Lake Saint Louis ban has been in effect since 2010 and O’Fallon’s since 2011.   But the cities’ bans in public buildings don’t address e-cigarettes.

O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, St. Peters, Cottleville and Weldon Spring officials said last week that the e-cigarette issue hasn’t come up. St. Peters ordinance, for example, prohibits smoking of tobacco products only on city properties, not citywide, and that ordinance makes no mention of e-cigarettes.

Still, this not the first time e-cigarette bans have made the news.

St. Peters adopted an ordinance in 2014 banning the purchase of electronic cigarettes or “vapor products” by minors under age 18.

In May, the St. Charles City Council voted to amend an ordinance adopted earlier this year that repealed an e-cigarette ban. The city’s ordinance allows business owners to decide whether or not to allow vapor products in their establishments.

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