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City of Mesa to consider adding vaping to smoking regulations

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

PHOENIX — The Mesa City Council will consider an ordinance that would place the same regulations on vaping that are currently on smoking.

The ordinance would prohibit vaping and the use of vaping products in public facilities, public places and certain places of employment throughout the city.

The City Council will vote on the legislation at its meeting on Monday.

“We’ve come to the point now where science, some time and a few deaths have been identified as being linked to e-cigarettes that it’s appropriate that we treat them the same way we do tobacco cigarettes,” Mesa Mayor John Giles told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Giles said the city is considering action against vaping because of its health risks and ease of accessibility to underage users.

Almost 20 vaping-related lung illness cases have been reported in Arizona and that number has eclipsed 2,000 nationally.

“I think we were waiting to learn more about vaping and e-cigarettes,” Giles said. “I think communities were suspicious.”

Giles added that Mesa school superintendents he’s spoken to were anxious to see the city take steps against vaping.

Discipline data obtained by KTAR News 92.3 FM in October showed there are a growing number of students in East Valley schools who are getting caught with electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices on school grounds.

The city of Goodyear passed an ordinance in September raising the legal age to buy vaping products to 21 from 18.

Giles said if the ordinance passes, he expects it to go into effect in six months.

“There’s really now a compelling reason for us to treat vaping and e-cigarette smoke as tobacco smoke,” Giles said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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