The Shawano County Board of Supervisors recently altered their smoking ordinance on county grounds, as it pertains to e-cigarettes and vaping.
“They can have it on their person, but it can not be lit,” explained Shawano County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Jerry Erdmann. “That was one thing we cleaned up on our smoking ordinance.”
Erdmann says the county hasn’t experienced any problems leading to the change in the ordinance, however, with the growing popularity of vaping, they wanted to be prepared, and felt those who wanted to vape should follow the ordinance outlined for smokers.
“I know that we have people who vape out on the street, which county property is non-smoking property, so they actually cannot be on the sidewalk by the courthouse,” said Erdmann. “If they’re going to smoke, that’s their right, but they can’t do it on the sidewalk because that’s actually county property.”
The county’s actions are something many are dealing with and vaping becomes more prevalent, even among students, according to a recent survey from the state Health Services Department. They say more Wisconsin school kids are smoking e-cigarettes than tobacco.
According to the survey, 13 percent of high school students are vaping, as opposed to eight percent who smoke regular cigarettes which is way down from past years .
Twice as many middle school students vape than smoke, with 2.6 percent of those youngsters using e-cigarettes. State Health Officer Karen McKeown says it’s “very troubling” that the candy and fruit flavors of electronic smokes are getting more kids to try them, and health officials are alarmed by the trend.