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Kenosha passes vaping ordinance to keep minors away from e-cigs

Man vaping
Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 19:09:31-04

KENOSHA — A new ordinance in Kenosha was designed to keep electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, away from minors.

Wisconsin already bans people under the age of 18 from buying and using nicotine and tobacco products. Kenosha's ordinance, passed Monday, covers devices that are even capable for e-cig smoking.

The ordinance details how some devices have cartridges that may be sold without nicotine, but vapor emissions and cartridges still contain dangerous substances including chemicals that are tied to cancer and neurological effects.

"It's so small that they were bringing them into classrooms. And they would vape underneath their jackets because the smoke that comes out is very, very little. I had the sheriff's department reach out to me because somebody was smoking on the bus out in the county, on a school bus," said Alderman Dominic Ruffalo, the ordinance's principal sponsor.

If a minor is caught with an e-cig, Ruffalo said they could be hit with a fine up to $1,000.

The ordinance also limits electronic smoking to the same areas as traditional smoking.

The National Institutes of Health has reported teens who use e-cigs are more likely to start smoking cigarettes, cigars or hookah.

"Online using mom and dad's credit card. They don't check IDs online yet. They're not a store." — Tyler Costello, who manages Corner Vapery

Tyler Costello, who manages Corner Vapery in Kenosha, agrees with the move.

He said minors are not allowed in their shop, but kids still find ways to get their hands on a vape.

"Online using mom and dad's credit card. They don't check IDs online yet. They're not a store," said Costello. He added some gas stations or convenience stores don't bother to check for proof of age.

The ordinance is slated to go into effect Friday.