By Alyssa Schnugg
In 30 days, vaping or using electronic cigarettes will not be allowed inside public buildings or outside in any Oxford park after the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance amendment Tuesday to the city’s Smoking Ban policy.
The Board voted unanimously during its regular meeting to add verbiage to the existing Smoking Ban ordinance that makes it illegal to use an electronic cigarette in any areas where cigarettes and cigars are already banned.
The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.
The ordinance defines smoking as “inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, hookah, or other lighted tobacco product in any manner or in any form, including the use of any electronic smoking device.”
The definition of “electronic smoking devices” in the ordinance reads: “any electronic device, electronic circuit device, chemical or mechanical heating element device, battery-operated device or any other power source device that delivers nicotine, flavor or other substances for inhalation. This term shall include every variation and type of such devices whether they are manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as an electronic cigarette, an electronic cigar, an electronic cigarillo, an electronic pipe, an electronic hookah or any other product name or descriptor.”
A public hearing on the amendment was held last month at City Hall; however, no one spoke in favor of, or in protest of the change.
The use of electronic smoking devices is now banned in the same areas and locations as cigarettes that includes all indoor public areas, including local bars and restaurants, within the entrances to city-owned buildings, school grounds, outdoor sporting arenas and city-owned parks.