OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — During Tuesday's Ottawa County Board of Commissioners regular session, officials approved the proposal to ban vaping on county-owned property and in all enclosed public and private worksites and public places.
Some examples of places where vaping is now banned would be stores, banks, libraries, sports arenas and more.
The revisions to the county's smoking in public regulations were expanded to include tobacco products, which would be any electronic smoking device. The 2008 rules prohibit smoking in all public and private worksites excluding bars, restaurants, county parks, homes and tobacco specialty stores.
Health Officer Lisa Stefanovsky from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health said tobacco and marijuana smoke contribute to indoor air pollution and secondhand smoke can lead to disease in nonsmokers.
"Secondhand smoke is a toxic air contaminant and exposure to secondhand smoke has serious health effects. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke," said Stefanovsky.
The revised smoking regulations also allow the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office to enforce the rules. The first violation will result in a warning and a second violation within a year of the first will result in a $100 fine.
More than 2,500 people were hospitalized in 2019 in the U.S. for lung injuries associated with vaping, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 57 confirmed deaths, including three in Michigan.
A 2017 survey found more than 30 percent of young adults in Ottawa County have tried a vape product, and nearly half believe there is little-to-no risk associated with using them.
"People really need to educate themselves about the dangers of these products," Stefanovsky said. "They can harm you. They have harmed people."
For more information on E-cigarettes, visit the CDC website.
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