BLUFFTON, Sc. (WTOC) -If you currently use e-cigarettes while walking your dog or taking your kids to the park, a proposed amendment to the smoking ordinance in the Town of Bluffton may change that.
Attendees will hear the first reading of a proposed change to the towns smoking ordinance at Tuesday’s town council meeting. . Currently, the definition of smoking only refers to the inhaling, exhaling, burning, lighting or carrying of a lit cigarette cigar pipe or other tobacco product.
The ordinance would change that wording to include electronic cigarettes in the ordinance. If passed, that would mean Bluffton residents can no longer vape or smoke e-cigarettes on public land like parks. Mayor Pro Temp Larry Toomer says the motivation behind the ordinance are the children. Once the phrase e-cigarette is in the law, he believes they will be safer.
“As soon as this is passed and I assume this will pass, if someone is there blowing smoke out of an e-cigarette, or whether it’s a vape or whatever, that that will still be a violation,” the Mayor Pro Tem said.
E-cigarettes, which come in multiple flavors and light up, are popular among younger people and still show up at parks because it’s not “burning tobacco”. Toomer initiated the smoking ban that went into effect five years ago when parents complained of adults smoking at DuBois park. He says that no matter what, it’s still smoke.
The park is now mostly smoke free. Since the ordinance is supposed to help children in Bluffton, Toomer doesn’t think the council will face much, if any, opposition.