Despite the opposition of mayor Hal Marx, the Petal Board of Aldermen recently voted unanimously on the measure, reports Yolanda Cruz of The Hattiesburg American, claiming they are "hazardous" and designed to "attract children."
"We're just trying to keep pace with the technology that is out there," said Ward 4 Alderman Brad Amacker, who sponsored the amendment. "We already have the ban on tobacco cigarettes, so it only seemed prudent to update the ordinance to reflect current smoking devices."
Electronic smoking devices are defined in the amendment as "any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor."
While electronic smoking devices have been advertised as only emitting water vapor, Amacker said he had research that shows water is not an ingredient in the "vape juice" and the by-product of the devices was actually an aerosol mixture of hazardous chemicals.
"I just can't support the government being the one to do it. I don't support it on the federal level, so how can I support it at the municipal level? When you put too many regulations on a business, they become bogged down and suffocated by them."
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