MARIETTA, Ga. - The ity of Marietta is considering banning e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco in city parks.
People are already not allowed to smoke cigarettes, pipes and cigars in public parks. The city was one of the first in the state to pass that ordinance a decade ago.
Now the Cobb/Douglas County Public Health Department wants to include smoke-less tobacco products used in vaping, as well.
Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach was in Marietta, where council members are also working to figure out if they can also ban smoking vaping products and chewing tobacco on public sidewalks.
"I see it everywhere," neighbor Jon Thomas said. "(They) say it's better than smoking a regular cigarette."
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Gehlbach spoke to health department officials, who presented this week to the mayor and City Council at a work session.
Banning vaping and chewing tobacco on city sidewalks is a little more complicated: Officials are working to learn who has jurisdiction over the sidewalks and if the city could enforce the ban.
Gehlbach got a mixed reaction fro neighbors about the proposal.
"I think that would be a good idea," one neighbor said. "It's not good for them, from what I hear."
Thomas, a smoker, wasn't sold on the idea.
"I don't think you should do that at all," Thomas said. "It's not hurting anybody else. It's (not) a cloud of smoke when you walk through it. It's vapor."
The health department fears that even secondhand vapor with nicotine and other chemicals could be dangerous to nonsmokers. Owners of a couple of vape shops Gehlbach stopped by say vaping is totally safe.
A second work session is scheduled at City Hall next week, where officials will work out some of the issues with the proposed ban and come up with the final proposal.
The City Council would vote on the new ordinance in March.
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