Hardin Fiscal Court is considering an ordinance amendment to include e-cigarettes in the county’s regulation restricting smoking in public places.

Magistrate Lisa Boone said the Lincoln Trail District Health Depart­ment recommended the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the ordinance prohibiting smoking in public places. She made the motion to accept the first reading of the ordinance amendment. The vote was unanimous. A final reading and adoption will be considered at the court’s Feb. 26 meeting.

Magistrate Garry King said the amendment takes the smoking policy the county has on the books and adds e-cigarettes. The county bans the use of cigarettes in any public building in Hardin County and within 15 feet of the entrance of that building. The process of vaping or ingesting nicotine from the vapors of an e-cigarette would fall under the same restriction if the ordinance is adopted.

An e-cigarettes in the ordinance is defined as “any electronic device powered by batteries used to heat liquid through an atomizer, or any other method, that is inhaled through vapor or aerosol, or otherwise consumed, containing nicotine, propylene glycol, alcohol, marijuana or an other substance used to simulate smoking, by any one person.”

The ordinance says smoking of tobacco products produces a form of air pollution which is a danger to health and a material public nuisance.

Hardin Fiscal Court, which adopted its smoking ordinance in 2007, deemed it to be in the best interests of residents of the unincorporated areas of Hardin County to adopt the regulation. A measure affirming the county ordinance was adopted by Sonora city government and similar regulations are in place in other Hardin County cities.

In 2016, the U.S. Sur­geon General issued a general report concluding e-cigarette aerosol disburses the same tiny particles and toxic gases released by traditional cigarettes, the ordinance amendment says.

It also states the Food and Drug Administration determined various e-cigarette samples tested contained nicotine and detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals, including carbonyl compounds, volatile organic compounds and more known to have adverse health effects.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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