AUSTIN – The City of Austin’s smoking ordinance now includes e-cigarettes and vaping, less than two weeks after the city council amended it.
The Austin City Council gave final passage to amending the ordinance during their June 22 meeting. The original ordinance – passed in 2005 – restricted smoking in public areas, including parks, bars and restaurants. E-cigarettes or vaping have become popular since then and had not included in the ordinance. For the last year and a half, the city's public health department had worked to add e-cigs into the ordinance, saying it will protect people from second hand vape.
"We don't know what kinds of chemicals are in vape and whether or not it's safe and so we want to make sure that everybody has the right to breathe vape-free air and have their lungs protected," said Christie Garbe, Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer for Austin Central Health, in June.
While many people think e-cigarettes are a healthier option, the FDA tested several types and found they have known carcinogens and many labeled as nicotine-free actually contained nicotine.