New city ordinance limits vaping, e-cigarette use

Tanner Smith refills his vape's tank while tending to the front desk at Juicy's Vapor Lounge on Dec. 1, 2016. (Payton Heinze | The Collegian)

The Manhattan City Commission passed a ban of vaping on Nov. 15, prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in public places or places of employment.

Enclosed public buildings or buildings into which the public is invited are included in the locations where vaping and e-cigarettes are banned.

In August 2008, the City Clerk’s office received petitions and a proposed ordinance to require the City of Manhattan to prohibit tobacco smoking in public places and places of employment. The tobacco ordinance did not include vaping or e-cigarettes, which led to the new ordinance.

As some may not mind the new vape ordinance, other people in the Manhattan community feel at a loss.

“There is a small vaping community here; it would be sad to see that go … I know it has helped a lot of people stop smoking cigarettes,” Stanley Heeney, 25-year-old Manhattan resident, said.

Crayton Caswell, owner of Manhattan Vapors, has many tobacco non-user success stories under his belt as a business owner.

“In 2015, tobacco use went down 2 percent,” Caswell said. “That’s when e-cigarettes began showing popularity and people started to stop using tobacco products.”

But Michael Campbell, physician at Lafene Health Center, said family physicians strongly encourage people not to vape if they have quit their use of tobacco products, as the chemicals found in vape pens and e-cigarettes are also toxic, even though less so, to the body.

Campbell said some of the most common side effects he has seen in tobacco users who have switched to e-cigarettes include dry skin, dry mouth, rash or burning sensation to the face, itchiness, puffy or dry eyes and minor bloody nose issues.

“The worst I have seen is burns to the throat from significant use of the device,” Campbell said. “I would not advise this alternative to someone who wishes to stop smoking as we do not know the long-term effects yet.”

M.O.V.E., or Medical Organizations supporting Vaping and Electronic cigarettes, states, “People smoke for the nicotine but die from the chemicals produced when the tobacco is burned. … The dangers of electronic cigarettes are considerably lower than those of tobacco,” according to its website.

The sale of e-cigarettes is now a $6 billion dollar industry worldwide, according to Leah Shaffer’s NOVA Next article “Vaping is far from harmless,” and it isn’t just going to go away.

Some users may think vaping is a healthy cigarette alternative, but they only know half of the story.

“(E-cigarettes) are thought to have fewer carcinogenic (cancer-causing) particles such as tar and carbon monoxide than regular cigarettes, causing less lung inflammation, but do result in better indoor air quality,” Campbell said. “Possible exposure to harmful products like formaldehyde or acetaldehyde that come from heating up the nicotine liquid. Studies have shown a higher rate of adverse effects with e-cigarettes than with nicotine patches and other forms of nicotine-replacement therapy.”

The K-State Police Department and Riley County Police Department say this will be an easy law to enforce, as they will kindly ask people to put away their devices in public.

“In general, officers will follow the same procedure and will not be enforcing it any differently than the current tobacco ordinance,” Mat Droge, RCPD public relations officer, said. “We will continue to follow the law in the same manner.”