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City adds vape pens, electronic cigarettes to smoking ban

Soon the use of vape pens or electronic cigarettes will be prohibited in establishments around Oxford. During their meeting on Tuesday, the city’s Board of Aldermen voted to add those devices to the city’s smoking ban ordinance.  

The ruling, which will go into effect in 30 days, makes it illegal to use an electronic cigarette or vape pens in any areas where cigarettes and cigars are already banned. Those areas include public buildings or any city parks.  

In the ordinance, smoking is defined as ‘inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, hookah, or any other lighted tobacco product in any manner or form, including the use of any electronic smoking device. The ordinance continues to define electronic smoking devices as ‘any electronic device, electronic circuit device, chemical or mechanical heating element device, battery-operated device or any other power source device that delivers nicotine, flavor or other substances for inhalation.’

The addition of the devices to the city’s smoking ordinance was a swift process with little pushback from residents. During a public hearing on the issue at last month’s Aldermen meeting, nobody spoke out against the Oxford Police Department’s request to amend the ordinance.