New tobacco ordinance passed by Devils Lake City Commission

Harry Lipsiea Journal Reporter
Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson, left, and commissioner members Craig Stromme, middle, and Tim Heisler, right, discuss Ordinance 923. The ordinance amends the current policy and bans the sale and use of e-cigarettes for minors. It takes effect Nov. 1.

After a unanimous vote by the Devils Lake City Commission Monday evening, the city's ordinance for tobacco sales will be officially changed as of Nov. 1. The ordinance amends the current law in place by adding that the sale and use of electronic cigarettes is illegal for minors.

In late July, Elizabeth Bonney, tobacco prevention coordinator at Lake Region District Health, appeared at the Devils Lake City Commission July 21 meeting to discuss electronic cigarettes and the national law.

"Currently it is legal in the United States for individuals of all ages to purchase these products," Bonney told commission members. "The companies know this and are starting to target children by creating different flavors and designs. It's a major problem."

At that time, she proposed the idea of amending the local ordinance to prohibit the sale and use of electronic cigarettes for minors. After the proper language to make a change to the current tobacco ordinance was created, commission members unanimously approved Ordinance No. 923 during its first reading in September.

On Monday, the commission made the ordinance official by unanimously approving the second reading.

Bonney wants the public to know that the local law has no effect on the electronic cigarette products for individuals aged 18 and above.

"Electronic cigarettes will still be legal. The change is that they electronic cigarettes will now be treated in the same manner as other tobacco products," she stated. "I thank the city for amending its policy."