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Mesa adopts stricter regulation against vaping in public places

(Getty Images Photo/Justin Sullivan)

PHOENIX – Mesa has joined a handful of other Arizona cities in adopting tighter ordinances against vaping.

The city council announced Monday the ordinance updated the city code’s citywide no-smoking regulations on tobacco use in municipal facilities, other work sites and specific public places.

The new rules will go into effect in the East Valley city June 9.

“There has been extensive research regarding the negative health effects of vaping and inhaling second-hand vapors that led the Mesa City Council to support changing our smoking ordinance to include vaping,” Mayor John Giles said in a statement.

“I’m proud that Mesa is joining the growing number of cities nationwide taking action to protect the public.”

Although several Valley suburbs have vaping ordinances, Goodyear became the first to ban sales of the electronic cigarettes, tobacco and related products to to anyone younger than 21.

The West Valley city made the change in September.

Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe also have regulations in place, as do Flagstaff and Tucson.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 17 cases of vaping-related illnesses have been reported in the state.

Health concerns include unknown long-term impacts and secondhand exposure in public places.

“We know that people are concerned about some of the health issues that are happening across the country,” Natalie Lewis, deputy city manager, told KTAR News 92.3 FM, “… and (about) the types of chemicals and toxins that are in secondhand smoke.”

The agency said 51% of Arizona high school students had tried vaping products and that twice as many youngsters vaped than smoked cigarettes.

Doctors and health officials have suggested people avoid vaping products until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigation established exactly what was at the root of the lung illnesses.

Symptoms have included shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, nausea and fatigue.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Debra Dale and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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