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Possible ban on e-cigarette products in Columbia


The Columbia City Council reviewed a report Monday from the Columbia/Boone County Board of Health asking the council to temporarily ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products within city limits.

The temporary ban is meant to buy time for city staff to create a more permanent ordinance.

The report says flavored e-cigarette products can cause youth to become addicted to nicotine. It also listed the recent rise in lung injuries associated with using e-cigarette or vaping products as another reason to ban the sale of the products.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since Tuesday, more than 1,800 cases of vaping related lung injuries have been reported, and 37 deaths have been reported in 24 states.

Mahree Skala from the Columbia/Boone County Board of Health said the goal of the ban is to protect youth.

"The goal is to reduce the incredibly rapid increase in teen use of vaping devices. And therefore to decrease the number of teenagers who are becoming, and young adults, who are becoming addicted to nicotine as a result of using flavored vaping fluids," Skala said.

"Nicotine has even more impact on adolescent and young adult brains than it does on older people's brains. And it also, the earlier you start the much harder it is to kick the habit," She said.

She said the board sought out information about the dangers of vaping after members suggested looking into the issue.

A group of people were protesting the possible ban outside of city hall Monday.

Kathryn Lake said people wanted to protest the ban because vaping is a healthier option than smoking cigarettes. She said adults also enjoy using flavored e-cigarette products, and there are already preventative steps in place to prevent teenagers from using the products.

"Any vape shop that you go into, not necessarily, I can't speak for convenience stores, but they are being carded, and whether it's a fake ID or whatnot, we're going to find it, we're going to stop it. And that's not going to be a sale made," she said.

The council decided to request a more in-depth report from the board of health before it takes any steps to further restrict the products.

Boone / Columbia City Government / Columbia Video / Health / News / Politics / Video

Sydney Olsen

Sydney Olsen reports in the evenings during the week and on the weekend.



  1. I am 43 years old and smoked for over 25 years( 3 packs a day) I have been vaping now for 4 years without even wanting a cigarette. Vaping is and should stay for adult use only. With out vaping, I doubt I would of had the will power to quit cigarettes. In my opinion the convenience stores are where adolescents are getting a hold of vape products. I personally know that vape stores ID everyone that comes in. Keep vapes in vape store and out of other spots. The pod systems are also a huge problem. Those usually contain high levels of nicotine and are easier to hide so adolescents can hide them easier and it gives them a “BUZZ” When I started I used a 18 mg of nicotine. Most adults now use a 3mg which makes it a whole lot safer

  2. This is dumb, feel good nonsense that accomplishes nothing. I’m 42 years old and tried everything to quit smoking, and nothing worked. Then I picked up vaping and haven’t smoked a cigarette since January 4th of this year. NOT ONCE. Here’s three reasons why this is a bad idea:

    1) Vaping is safer than smoking. It just is. How safe? Still up in the air, but if we’re interested in harm reduction this is the way to go.

    2) If you’re worried about kids vaping, then concentrate on that! Increase enforcement at the gas stations and vape shops. Nobody has an issue with that.

    3) City based ordinances like this don’t work! When all you have to do is drive a couple miles down the road, you won’t stop anybody from vaping! All you’ll do is decrease tax revenue from the stores you drive out of business or out of town because people want these flavors.

    Personally? I don’t like the flavored juice. I vape a tobacco tasting blend. So this isn’t about me, other than the fact that I don’t want my local shops to be hurt and go out of business.

    1. It’s not the Governments job to parent people’s children. You don’t get to punish adults, and take away their civil rights to choose a safer alternative to cigarettes. Vaping works. Period. Take all vape products out of gas stations where they are easily attainable and put them in only vape shops where they will be asked for ID.

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