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Council finalizes ban on e-cigs in parks

Final vote, 5-1, is identical to council's vote in June


In a final vote July 1, the Hillsboro City Council moved to ratify a ban on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in city parks.

“I did a lot of research on this, including on the American Cancer Society website,” explained council President Aron Carleson before the council voted on the proposal. “Parks are to promote health and well-being. While I agree the vapor mechanisms help some people to stop smoking, I have concerns and plan to vote ‘yes.’”

Megan Braze said she too supported the ban on e-cigarettes in city parks.

“It’s not just a harmless water vapor. There are a certain amount of toxins with this, and we need to make sure our park properties are free for those who don’t want to be around these substances.”

Council member Fred Nachtigal disagreed with the move to ban e-cigarettes.

“I’m not convinced there are current viable health issues," he said. "It is certainly a small amount of health risk, if any, but not a reason to ban a legal substance from our parks. I don’t see this as an appropriate step for the use of our police powers.”

The final vote by the council members was 5-1 in support of the ban, which was identical to a preliminary vote on the measure on June 17. Carleson, Braze, Steve Callaway, Darell Lumaco and Olga Acuña all voted in favor. Nachtigal was the lone dissenting vote.

With the council’s action, e-cigarettes will now be included in the city’s existing “no smoking” rules for parks and recreational facilities.

The ban on e-cigarettes in parks goes into effect immediately.

"The e-cigarette ban is now in effect, but the ordinance, which was passed on Tuesday (July 1), takes effect 30 days after passage," explained Mary Loftin, community resources manager for the city's Parks & Recreation Department. "What this means is, e-cigarettes are banned in all parks and Parks & Recreation facilities, and people vaping will be asked to stop or to move off our property. However, citations can’t be given until the ordinance takes effect."

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