UPDATE: Eau Claire Co. approves e-cigarette addition to smoke-fr - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Eau Claire Co. approves e-cigarette addition to smoke-free ordinance

Posted:
Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Eau Claire county board signs off on an ordinance change about tobacco.

Tuesday night, the county board voted 26-1 to expand the current smoke-free ordinance to include e-cigarettes. That means smoking e-cigarettes will be prohibited inside and within 25 feet of a county facility. That would include places like the courthouse, highway shop, and county extension office.

The battery-powered devices give users a nicotine high from a vapor. Many claim they're less harmful than regular cigarettes and some use the product to help them quit smoking. E-cigarettes don't have tobacco tar found in traditional cigarettes but it's unclear what's in them. The FDA is now proposing regulations.

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Eau Claire (WQOW) -
E-cigarette users in Eau Claire County would be pushed away from buildings in order to puff if a new ordinance passes.

The Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors is considering an ordinance that prohibits smoking e-cigarettes within 25 feet outside a county facility. That would include places like the courthouse, highway shop, and county extension office. The move would also ban people from smoking the devices inside county facilities and county-owned vehicles. The Eau Claire City / County Health Department's Board of Health voted to support the ordinance Wednesday.

"This is looking at putting e-cigarettes in the same category as regular cigarettes and treating them in the same way. 25 feet does give some space between people that are smoking or people who are using e-cigarettes and the rest of the population that really shouldn't be exposed to that," said Lieske Giese, Eau Claire City / County Health Department Director.

The ordinance now heads back to the county board of supervisors for action. A final decision is expected to happen at one of the two board meetings next month.

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