August 21, 2014 10:34:17 AM
TUPELO -- The Tupelo City Council has approved an ordinance that bans the use of e-cigarettes at most restaurants and businesses.
"It's not a ban like something is declared illegal," Mayor Jason Shelton said before Tuesday's vote. "It's a ban on using the product in public."
The hot button issue has been tabled several times, but the ban passed with a vote of 5 to 1 Tuesday. Councilwoman Nettie Davis was the only dissenting vote.
"I want citizens to have freedom to be selective of what they choose to do or not to do," Davis said
The ordinance is expected to go in effect in September.
The amendment to Tupelo's existing smoking ordinance will allow people to use e-cigarettes in retail stores that make 50 percent or more of their money from the sale of e-cigarette products.
The change allows people to smoke in tobacco shops that make 50 percent or more of their money from the sale of tobacco products. Tobacco smokers will not be allowed to smoke in e-cigarette shops.
Stephanie Collier with the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Chickasaw and Lee counties, said the public ban would help discourage young people from using e-cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. They are typically powered by lithium-ion batteries.