The City of North Platte is moving to add vaping and e-cigarettes to its public no-smoking ban. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to give first-round approval to ban alternative nicotine products and electronic nicotine delivery systems to its tobacco regulations. The measure also would raise the minimum age from 18 to 19 for using, buying or possessing such products. Minors could possess them in their home under “direct supervision” of a parent or guardian, as they now can with tobacco products.
The proposed ordinance must be approved twice more to be enacted. Chief Police Daniel Hudson urged adoption of the ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting, saying officials need the measure to counter an increasing spread of vaping in North Platte’s schools.
Hudson and George Haws, coordinator for the Community Connections Tobacco Free Lincoln County Coalition, cited growing evidence of vaping’s dangers for young people in the form of addiction and potentially fatal lung problems. Nearly 2,300 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March, many of them teens and young adults, according to a recent tally by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 47 people have died.