While the legal status of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, is being debated across the country, the Border City is taking a stand.
Lloydminster city council changed it smoking policy at its June 22 meeting to include the prohibition of the use of e-cigarettes in city buildings where tobacco is already forbidden.
“We’re just trying to confirm for the public and for our own workers that (there is) no smoking of any kind, of any type of implement, within a city facility,” city clerk Beth Kembel said. “So if you think you are going smoke an e-cigarette, go outside, do it in a designated location.”
If there are no designated areas, smokers are asked to smoke at least five metres away from doors, windows and intakes. A report prepared by legislative services on the topic mentions that there is currently no provincial or federal legislation regarding e-cigarettes. Kembel says the bylaw may change as more becomes known.
“Right now, our smoking bylaw speaks to tobacco-based products, but as we go forward and we learn more about e-cigarettes and all the new smoking devices and products that you can smoke we will undertake to review our bylaw and include all smoking devices in the bylaw,” she said.
The policy changes now define smoking as “to inhale, exhale, or ingest, the smoke or fumes emanating from a burning product, including but not limited to: tobacco, vapour, medical marijuana.”
The prohibited smoking products and devices include electronic cigarettes or cigars, electronic pipes, hookahs, smokeless tobacco and tobacco-based cigarettes and pipes.
“I think it’s a great move for us to be proactive in something like this,” city Coun. Jason Whiting said. “It’s important to show that we don’t promote smoking of any type.”