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Pewaukee proposing ban on e-cigarettes, vaping

Posted at 8:22 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 21:22:48-04

PEWAUKEE — After the seventh death in the country has been tied to vaping, local officials are talking about treating e-cigarettes like traditional cigarettes at their local parks.

The Village of Pewaukee facilitated public discussions on Tuesday about banning e-cigarettes at their public parks and buildings. In essence, they would be treated the same as any other smoking device.

"I brought this up to the board based on my concerns over the several cases of critical lung illness that have made the news recently with an apparent connection to vaping," said village trustee Heather Gergen.

The local official hopes that Pewaukee's plan can be similar to the rules of a neighboring state.

"I visited Minnesota last month and saw that they have signs up in their parks banning tobacco and electronic cigarettes. I think it is something that we should consider adopting in Pewaukee," Gergen said.

While others agree that they don't want it around them or their kids, residents are leery about a total ban.

"But if they're smoking around me or around my kids, I try to move," said Alyssa Sturm, a nearby resident.

Sturm is extra cautious because her daughter was born with a lung issue, making her always concerned about the air quality around her.

"I think it can be more dangerous in a sense because you just don't know what's in there," she said.

Medical professionals agree. Testing is so new, they're unsure of exactly what is causing issues in the hundreds of illnesses across the country.

“We do not know about the effects of secondhand vapor, but we do know that the contents of e-cigarette secondhand aerosol include substances that are not safe, including metal, silicate particles and VOC's or volatile organic compounds,” said Dr. Louella Amos with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

The Village of Pewaukee held a public meeting regarding the ban Tuesday.