TYLER (KYTX) -- Smith County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to enact a ban on e-cigarettes and other vapor-producing products that extends to all county-controlled properties.
The vote came after considerable discussion which was touched off by initial remarks from Judge Joel Baker and a study he had distribute to commissioners. He said the study cited the potential for second-hand nicotine absorption in situations involving an e-cigarette in use within a close space. Baker also said the study was inconclusive regarding other possible health effects.
Commissioner Jeff Warr was initially hesitant about voting for the policy, citing inconclusive medical evidence and a desire not to allow county government to overly intrude in people's lives. Other commissioners displayed mixed feelings or were indifferent.
Commissioner JoAnn Hampton was absent from the meeting. judge Baker reiterated her statement of support for the ban as voiced in last week's meeting.
Justin Campbell of the Uptown Vapor Lounge was present and spoke in opposition of a complete ban. He said he understood the need to curtail so-called vaping in places like courtrooms and asked commissioner to reconsider the ban outside of such settings.
After twenty minutes of discussion the ban was approved as an addendum to the county's existing smoking policy.