“There’s definitely a health benefit here:” Greenfield Common Council unanimously approves e-cig ban

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GREENFIELD (WITI) -- The City of Greenfield's Common Council has voted unanimously (5–0) to extend smoking prohibitions within the city to include electronic smoking devices.

The ordinance prohibits the use of any electronic smoking device in all Greenfield school buildings and grounds, municipal buildings, and any indoor workplace within the city.

A sign outside a Greenfield gas station announces "We Sell e-cigarettes," but soon those who live in Greenfield will be banned from smoking electronic cigarettes in public buildings.

"There's definitely a health benefit here," Greenfield Health Department Director Darren Rausch said.

Rausch says the ban applies anywhere the 2010 "Smoke Free Air Law" is in effect.

Rausch drafted the ordinance at the request of police looking to regulate e-cigarettes in schools.

"We`re on the cutting edge in Wisconsin, but there are other cities that have done this -- both Ashwaubenon and Onalaska within the last several months," Rausch said.

"I feel like it`s a bunch of people who don`t understand how difficult it is to quit smoking cigarettes," Matthew Murphy said.

Murphy is the founder of "Lakeview Vapor" in Bay View. He says there's strong demand for the battery-powered vaporizers with their many flavors and scents.

"I`ve never had anybody tell me I can`t smoke it in the bar, but I`m very conservative. I don`t blow giant clouds," Murphy said.

People on both sides of the issue say there's little research available about the health impact of e-cigarettes, but one customer says they've helped him cut down on his nicotine intake.

"I go into a lot of bars and I normally ask the bartender first if it`s okay and nobody`s had an issue with it yet," Bryce Nielsen said.

“This ordinance protects the public health, safety, comfort and general welfare of the residents of Greenfield. Residents have overwhelmingly supported clean indoor air since 2009, and this ordinance preserves clean indoor air from the increasing use of electronic smoking devices," Rausch said in an earlier statement to FOX6 News.

The e-cigarette ban could go into effect sometime in November. A ticket for smoking an e-cigarette where they are not allowed will be the same as smoking an actual cigarette.

17 comments

  • perhaps

    and what’s wrong with e cig vapors?…is it that it’s unhealthy?…or is it just that people don’t want to see clouds coming from other people’s mouths?…I’d really just like to know why

  • Wayne

    Just another big win-win for all the folks who just have to control the lives and conduct of the people around them …. but an even bigger win for BIG PHARMA. The drug companies are losing billions of dollars on their smoking cessation products like Nicorette, and Wellbutrin – not to mention all the lung cancer drugs that won’t be needed as people quit smoking cigarettes. Nice job guys.

  • Greg Baughman

    ““We`re on the cutting edge in Wisconsin”
    Well, in that case, why not EMBRACE the cutting edge, safe technology that has the potential of saving THOUSANDS of lives a year? The really sad part about this is that now vapers who managed to kick the smoking habit will now be forced to inhale second-hand smoke; the very thing that we were trying to get away from.

  • Cotton_MSV

    What a BS lie! Once again misinformed government officials listening to Big Tobacco and Big Pharma with their false studies!

  • Jesse Mawhinney

    Well Greenfield, you made my mind very clear to forget looking for a place to live in your city and avoid using your businesses. This is what is wrong with this country today. If the government hasn’t done anything immediately you shouldn’t either, not that the government has been doing a great job with ecigs either. You do not have the resources or money to do the extensive research needed to prove that ecigs are harmful. Doctors that aren’t payed off by the many detractors of ecigs will agree that ecigs are safer than traditional cigarettes and would be a benefit to traditional tobacco smokers that want to quit. Really the only ones against ecigs are the people about to lose a lot of money to a product that reduces harm, such as the America Lung Association, FDA, big pharma or anyone that gives up other’s rights for their own selfish reasons…

  • Jesse Mawhinney

    Also, this is something that should not be done on a city level, this is a business level decision. I hope the city is sued because there have been lawsuits for traditional tobacco in New York that won and with ecigs this should be easier. I don’t agree with suing for a lot of reasons but unfortunately money is the only thing that matters to our leaders. The problem is, will there be anyone that takes action, if there are others that feel strongly about this issue let’s do something.

  • Emily

    This is ludicrous. The MN FDA came out with research saying second hand vape is safe to be around kids and yet right next door cities in WI are banning it like real cigarettes? There’s far less incentive to it if an ex-smoker still has to go stand and inhale second hand smoke while they vape.

  • Adam Will

    The Statement that 2nd hand vapor is cancer causing is ridiculous. I would love for the Greenfield city council to provide the test information obtained to make this decision. I bet i can show you that the liquid in question and the testing methods are flawed.

  • Kyle

    E liquid is made with vegetable oil what cancer causing chemicals are in vegetable oil ?! But its legal for people to dip and spit tobacco juices in public stupid as f***

  • Kathie

    I’d like to know exactly what the “health benefit” is here. Give information instead of saying “There’s definitely a health benefit here”. Why? Seriously. Why? If there are health risks, I’d like to know about them. If you’re worried about teens using them, fine. But then ban beer too, because we all know the only reason teens try anything is because they see adults using.
    From HealthDay: According to Thomas Kiklas, CFO of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, “All constituents [of e-cigarettes] have been in the U.S. food supply for generations and all are approved by the EPA/FDA for human inhalation and use dermally.” Also from HealthDay: The main ingredients found in the e-cigarette liquids are glycerin and glycol ethers, which are used as the liquid carrier into which all of the nicotine, flavorings and preservatives easily dissolve, Thornburg said. Those substances are not considered harmful.
    They’re talking about dangers of “different combinations” which may cause problems to bystanders. So different combinations of nonharmful entities may cause problems. Yes, that makes a lot of sense. They also talk about formaldehyde being used in tank systems which are NOT e-cigs. There does appear to be a possibility of concern to the user. There does NOT appear to be concern to the bystander.

  • Hunter

    I’d like to see a copy of the DATA the city of Greenfield used to make this decision. Does and viable data even exist? Please GREENFIELD, send me what you used so I can understand your decision.

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