SASKATOON – A new year means new resolutions. City council wants to start with these: no more smoking on outdoor city property and no more vaping either.
At Monday’s city council meeting, Ward 2 City Coun. Pat Lorje made no apologies about taking a stand against e-cigarettes and sided with the decision to ban vaping outdoors on city property as of Jan. 1, 2016.
“I’m very sad that we’re even having this conversation. I would’ve thought from years and years of research that the use of tobacco is inappropriate,” she said.
But there are exceptions to the ban. Using tobacco for aboriginal rituals and practices is allowed. Council also decided to make an exception on the use of e-cigarettes in vaping shops.
Mitchell Tarala, owner of Vapor Jedi couldn’t be more relieved. Council heard his argument that e-cigs actually help some people quit smoking and that if his employees couldn’t demonstrate the products in store, business could suffer.
“Every single new vaper needs someone to show them. And if they don’t have a good friend to show them … they really have to rely on us to show them,” he said.
Jennifer Miller from The Lung Association of Saskatchewan says she’s concerned about the potential of second-hand smoke caused from vaping. She told council employees working 40 hour weeks in vaping shops may be at risk of damaged lungs.
But is vaping actually bad for your health? City councilors and the Lung Association of Saskatchewan say they’re waiting on Health Canada for answers.
“We have been waiting for a long time. and I think all public health has been waiting for them to step up,” said Miller.