e-cigarettes

Vaping 360 / Flickr

The new reality of smoking at Kansas high schools is visible in the parking lots, where used-up Juul pods have taken the place of cigarette butts.

“You can pick up the discarded Juul cartridges all over the concrete,” Andover High School school resource officer Heath Kintzel said of the popular vaping brand. “It’s everywhere.”

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The Sedgwick County Commission voted Wednesday to once again restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in county buildings.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to reverse an earlier policy that allowed county employees to vape at work. Now, e-cigarettes will be treated the same as regular cigarettes: No smoking indoors, or within 25 feet of a building entrance.

Sudipto Sarkar / flickr Creative Commons

The Shawnee County Commission has voted to change the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Commissioner Bob Archer said he pushed for the change because of falling county health rankings.

“If we don’t take action, we’re just not doing our jobs, in my opinion," Archer said. "This is something we can do. It’s sending a message out that we care about the health of our citizens."

The proposal passed on a 2-1 vote. Commissioner Shelly Buhler supported it, but Commissioner Kevin Cook was opposed.

E-Cigarette Tax Fix Moves Forward In Kansas

Apr 5, 2017
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The Kansas House voted Tuesday to substantially reduce a tax the state had struggled to enforce on e-cigarette liquid.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Two years after the Kansas Legislature enacted its first special tax on e-cigarettes, the state is still trying to figure out how to enforce it and retailers are still saying they’ll be put out of business if it’s enforced.

The tax — 20 cents per milliliter of vaping liquid — was tacked on to a larger bill at the end of the historically long and grinding 2015 session. There were no public hearings on the tax, which originally was supposed to go into effect in July 2016 but was pushed back to January 2017.

Eddie Welker / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita State University says all of its campuses are going tobacco free next summer.

  

University president John Bardo passed the new policy in August. It goes into effect on July 1, 2017.

The new rule bans all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, from WSU properties. The Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act already outlaws smoking within 10 feet of buildings.

Ecig Click, flickr Creative Commons

Updated Tuesday, April 19: Commissioners approved the consent agenda item allowing vaping in county buildings in a 3-2 vote Monday night during their meeting in Derby. 

Original story:

The Sedgwick County Commission will consider a change to the policy procedures manual regarding county buildings and county personnel within them. One of the changes will allow vaping.

Ecig Click, flickr Creative Commons

At an informal public meeting on Monday morning, Sedgwick County Commissioners discussed the safety and public use of e-cigarettes.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell asked two advocates to debate whether e-cigarettes are harmful to the community.

Kimber Richter, a doctor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said e-cigarettes contain a number of dangerous chemicals and should be kept out of public spaces. She says studies that show e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to tobacco are flawed.

Matthew Cunnelly, flickr Creative Commons

Business and health leaders on Thursday announced an ambitious initiative to convince elected officials in the dozens of municipalities throughout the Kansas City area to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21.

Spearheaded by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, “Tobacco 21 | KC” aims to build on a movement that now counts nearly 100 communities around the country and the state of Hawaii that have made 21 the legal age for purchasing tobacco products.

National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Kansans have gotten used to smoke-free public places--but there are now calls to make them vapor-free as well. 

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