Fishers city council votes to ban e-cigarettes in parks, public spaces

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FISHERS, Ind. – Fishers city councilors voted to no longer allow vaping in places like parks and playgrounds. They unanimously approved an amendment to the city's smoking ordinance Tuesday night.

The ordinance bans smoking in public areas owned by the city. The amendment updated the ordinance to include e-cigarettes, other devices used for vaping and other forms of tobacco, including chewing tobacco.

"We want to be consistent across the board with regard to the children in the community because the children are the future of Fishers," City Council President Todd Zimmerman said.

The council said the Hamilton Southeastern School District already has a policy banning e-cigarettes at schools. Councilors argued the amendment was about keeping consistency in policies in the community and setting an example for youth.

"To overcome addiction is tough for anybody and so that's a great tool for them to do that but we want to make sure we're not introducing potentially bad habits with regards to the school children," Zimmerman said.

While some at the meeting supported the move, a local store owner spoke out against it.

"Outdoors, I don't see the need for them to say you can't vape in a park while you're out anywhere," said Mason Odle, the owner of Just Vapor in Fishers.

Odle asked councilors to not include vaping and smoking together, citing how many people his store has helped quit smoking.

"We really pride ourselves on being not tobacco, not smoking combustible cigarettes we help people get off of combustible cigarettes onto a healthier alternative," Odle said.

Zimmerman said there will likely be discussions to talk about designated areas for smoking and vaping in the future.

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