Supervisors take no action on possible e-cigarette ban

A resolution to prohibit the use of cigarettes, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products on Washington County properties went up in smoke on Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors failed to take action.

Public Health Director Danielle Pettit-Majewski approached the board about the possible ban by explaining vaping products are not included under the Iowa Smokefree Air Act (ISSA). She said when the ISSA was signed in July 2008, such products were not yet invented and therefore not included.

Pettit-Majewski explained that e-cigarettes and vaping were first seen as a replacement for smoking but are now being utilized with nicotine and tobacco products as well as THC, a drug commonly found in marijuana.

“What we wanted to do is basically start this conversation,” she said. “This was not an issue 11 years ago, but it is today.”

However, supervisors were not all on board with the idea. Supervisor Richard Young wanted to know what exactly the word “properties” entailed while supervisor Abe Miller said he had done research on e-cigarettes and vaping and has not found research that says it is damaging to the body.

Pettit-Majewski countered by explaining she was seeking to make a proactive step forward in the health world. She said that by including e-cigarettes and vaping in the ban, it could help drive home the point that such devices are damaging to the system.

A motion was made but died after not receiving a second.

In other news, supervisors approved a bid of $79,460 to Faust Construction to re-roof the clock tower on the courthouse. The work is expected to take place in early spring when weather conditions are more favorable. The process is expected to take two weeks.