By Alex Groves
The City Council unanimously voted to add city parks to the list of places people are prohibited from smoking.
Before the council’s action, smoking was already prohibited in such locations as restaurants, retail stores, elevators and public restrooms.
The city council action also revised a section of the municipal code to make it clear that smoking in both confined and unconfined spaces presents a danger to the health, safety and public welfare.
Asked by City Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson whether the prohibition extends to vaping, City Attorney Jeffrey Ballinger said it did not.
“Our ordinance defines smoking as combustion of a cigar, cigarette, pipe or any similar article using any form of tobacco or other combustible substance and vaping doesn’t technically use tobacco or really combustible substance; instead it uses a liquid that is turned into vapor.”
The city council approved the ordinance as written, but directed city staff to bring the vaping issue back to a future council meeting.