The Findlay City Health Department is hoping government officials “air” on the side of caution by banning electronic cigarettes in indoor public places where smoking has been prohibited.
Findlay would be the first municipality in Ohio to do so.
But not all City Council members are ready to take that step.
Instead, council members will be polled individually about whether they think a committee should be formed to debate the issue further and make a recommendation to council as a whole.
An informal City Council meeting Tuesday night included a city Health Department presentation about preliminary evidence suggesting that inhaling the vapor from e-cigarettes, referred to as “vaping,” is a health hazard.
Dr. Rick Watson, a Findlay pulmonary specialist, said e-cigarettes are reversing clean air efforts that have been legislated during the past decade. The liquids and oils sold for the devices have been found to contain chemical carcinogens, and some include illegal drugs such as THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, he said.
“The exhalant from an e-cigarette is just another source of indoor air pollution,” Watson said.
But Watson, city Health Commissioner Dr. Stephen Mills and city compliance officer Tom Davis acknowledged that as of yet, there is no scientific evidence that exhaled vapor from e-cigarettes is detrimental to bystanders’ health.
Courier reporter Joy Brown will have more on Wednesday.