ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Ashwaubenon's village board has unanimously approved a revision of its smoking ban to require people who use e-cigarettes to follow the same rules as those using regular tobacco products.
“We banned them everywhere you would use tobacco,” Ashwaubenon Village President Mike Aubinger told FOX 11.
Starting Friday, the rules for electronic cigarettes will change in Ashwaubenon.
“It’s not preventing you from buying them, it’s just preventing you from using them in certain public facilities,” Aubinger said.
Aubinger says the board felt smoking e-cigs mimics a bad habit, and that the vapor is irritating. The ban apparently stemmed from a request by school district administrators to address the use of e-cigarettes on school property.
“We have a district policy that includes the banning of e-cigarettes, as well as other tobacco products, but by the village ordinance being passed now, that now allows us to enforce that ban in terms of a municipal citation,” Ashwaubenon Schools Superintendent Brian Hanes told FOX 11.
So why does the ban apply to the entire village?
“We then said this becomes confusing to people about where they can and cannot use them,” explained Aubinger.
Vapin USA store manager Nolan Marzett is still confused.
“They said public places, we don’t know if our private owned business could be considered a public place,” said Marzett.
The ordinance reads like this:
-The law modifies the definition of smoking to include smoking of electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes
-Using those devices is banned in public places, school grounds and municipal buildings
-”Public place” means any enclosed place that is open to the public, or a place to which the public has lawful access or may be invited
That would include Vapin USA.
Wisconsin’s indoor smoking ban only addresses tobacco products. A measure to exempt e-cigarettes from the ban stalled in the Legislature earlier this year.
(Additional reporting by FOX 11).