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Orange Park managers push new limits on e-cigarettes
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Orange Park managers push new limits on e-cigarettes

Orange Park managers push new limits on e-cigarettes
Photo Credit: Lorena Inclan
A new Orange Park ordinance aims to limit use of e-cigarettes.

Orange Park managers push new limits on e-cigarettes

If approved, a new town ordinance in Orange Park would prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes anywhere smoking is prohibited.  The ordinance also aims to make it more difficult for minors to get their hands on the e-cigarettes.

The new ordinance will face its last hurdle Tuesday night.

According to Vice Mayor Marge Hutton, who sponsored the bill, the objective is to protect minors.

"We want it to be treated as a tobacco product, which means behind the counter," said Hutton.

The ordinance would make it illegal for stores to place electronic cigarettes in regular aisles, meaning if you want to buy a box you'll need to prove you're 18 or older.

Longtime smoker Dwayne Thompson agrees with the effort.

"They ain't no better for you, I'm sure. They're nicotine -- it's all bad for you," said Thompson.

But he disagrees with another part of the ordinance, which would prohibit him from using e-cigarettes any place where regular smoking is not allowed.

"The people that I'm around say they can't smell it, so that I don't agree with that," said Thompson.

The push came after Hutton received a solicitation email from an e-cigarette company that she says marketed the product to attract younger people.

"They talk about how they're introducing all sorts of new flavors -- chocolate, cherry, piña colada -- so that said to me that this was no longer a market for adults in smoking," she said.

Hutton said it all comes down to a health risk that should be kept out of the hands of those who are most vulnerable.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the safety of e-cigarettes has not been fully studied and there is no way of knowing how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled.

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