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Carmel could ban e-cigarettes in schools, libraries and malls

Posted at 12:55 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 19:00:56-04

CARMEL — The city of Carmel could soon ban the use of e-cigarettes in many public places.

A proposal to define and regulate e-cigarettes was introduced at a Carmel City Council meeting last month.

It would broaden the definition of smoking to include e-cigarettes, and ban them from all public places in Carmel, including libraries, schools, laundromats, malls, sports arenas and more. Anywhere smoking is currently not allowed, e-cigarettes would also be not allowed.

Carmel High School resource officer Shane VanNatter discussed e-cigarettes at the City Council meeting on May 20.

“This is not a Carmel problem, this is a nationwide problem,” he said. “But we need to address it here.”

VanNatter said he wrote his first e-cigarette ticket in 2014. In the 2018-19 school year, he wrote 27 citations for e-cigarettes. That number doesn’t include students found injecting THC through e-cigarettes, he said. It also doesn’t include the 1,004 adult students at Carmel High School.

He said students start out vaping nicotine, then move to THC.

“Of course, not every kid who vapes nicotine vapes THC, but I haven’t seen one case yet where a kid started out vaping marijuana,” he said. “They start out vaping nicotine then move on to the next level.”

The proposal was referred to the Finance, Utilities and Rules Committee. It is being sponsored by five of the seven councilors, so it is likely to pass.