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Houston City Council is discussing adding e-cigarettes and vape products to the smoking ordinance, which could go into effect immediately

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – E-cigarettes are not currently covered by the Houston smoking ordinance, but could soon be.

The ordinance, passed in 2006, bans smoking tobacco in public places, within 25 feet of the entrance or exit of a public building and other public areas, including bus stops and outdoor spectator events.

On Wednesday, the Houston City Council will discuss including e-cigarettes and vaping products in the smoking ordinance. If passed, it would come into effect immediately.

“When smokers inhale the aerosol (from e-cigarettes and vaping products), it contains nicotine, a chemical that can cause cancer. It can also contain flavors that cause serious lung disease,” said Porfirio Villarreal, spokesman for the Houston Health Department.

dr Lindy McGee, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, said the toxic chemicals involved in vaping can pose risks for all ages. She also stressed concern for young people and adults.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, vaping is the most commonly used tobacco product among teens in the United States as of 2014.

“Smoking among youth went down, down, down, and then along came the vaping industry,” McGee said. “In 2018, 25% of teens said they had vaped in the past 30 days. It’s gone down a bit, but it’s still not where we want it to be.”

In addition to limiting the effects of secondhand smoke, where other people’s smoke is inhaled by others, and third-party smoking, where chemical residues from smoke accumulate on surfaces, McGee hopes adding e-cigarettes to urban smoking regulation can also play a role play a role in denigrating e-cigarettes to teenagers.

“Although teens may not vape in public as much, they see young adults vaping in public and they want to copy them,” McGee said.

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https://abc13.com/e-cigarettes-vape-products-houstons-smoking-ordinance-houston-city-council/11690922/ Houston City Council is discussing adding e-cigarettes and vape products to the smoking ordinance, which could go into effect immediately

Dais Johnston

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