A revision to the McPherson public offense code likely will include regulations regarding the use of electronic cigarettes.

A revision to the McPherson public offense code likely will include regulations regarding the use of electronic cigarettes.
The current code includes no stipulations for e-cigarettes. The vote for the adoption of the new ordinances will take place at the McPherson City Commission meeting Monday.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated nicotine delivery systems. They can include flavoring and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used electronic cigarettes in 2013.
The new city code will specifically cover the use, sale and purchase of e-cigarettes by minors. The current code covers smoking of traditional cigarettes by minors, but there is not a section designated for e-cigarettes. The new section will state minors caught purchasing, selling and/or using e-cigarettes will be subject to the same judicial penalties as if they were caught with any other tobacco product.
“The use of e-cigarettes by teens and tweens has increased recently,” McPherson Police Chief Robert McClarty said.
In addition to the code changes, the McPherson board of commissioners is looking at adopting a citywide ordinance similar to the one passed recently in Salina. In Salina e-cigarettes are banned any place smoking is banned. As it stands in  McPherson, e-cigarettes can be used in public places like restaurants, stores and banks.
“I use e-cigarettes in places where I’m not allowed to smoke,” Joe Shober said. Shober, a resident of Inman, has been a smoker since his teens. “I smoke e-cigarettes in restaurants and public places where I normally can’t.”
Some doctors promote the devices as smoking cessation tools. The idea is that using an e-cigarette will gradually reduce the amount of traditional cigarettes smoked. Rica Simpson, a smoker from Lindsborg disagrees.
“I don’t think it changed how much I smoke at all. I smoked just as many regular cigarettes and then used the vapor on top of that,” Simpson said. “It also tastes good, so instead being a tool to quit smoking, it’s just becoming an alternative.”
The first e-cigarette was developed in 2003 by a pharmacist in Beijing, China, and commercial products were introduced into the United States in 2006.
Controversy continues in the medical community about the effects of e-cigs. Some practitioners are worried about the health problems that could be associated with “vaping,” as it is called.
Cities are creating ordinances in response to a call for regulations from the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association. A recent study showed youth exposure to e-cigarette advertising rose 250 percent from 2011 to 2013, and now reaches roughly 24 million young people. The AHA also is calling for studies to be performed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the effects of the chemically-laced vapor, both by first and second-hand inhalers. There is currently no definitive research by the FDA on the adverse effects of vaping. The FDA website does state however that voluntary reports from consumers, health professionals and concerned members of the public have been received linking vaping to pneumonia, congestive heart failure, disorientation, seizures and hypotension.
Complaints have been filed in McPherson regarding e-cigarette use.
“We hope to vote and put into place a city ordinance on e-cigarettes very soon,” Mayor Tom Brown said. “This is an important issue that needs to be handled soon.”