Proposed Inverness ordinance bans e-cigarettes in Citrus County buildings

By Ferdinand Zogbaum, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 1:21 PM EDT

A Bay area city wants to ban the increasingly popular E-cigarettes in county buildings.

They're called electronic cigarettes or vapes, and they're becoming more popular. Lacey Bell is the owner of Pandora's Box Tobacco Shop in Inverness. She's selling a lot of e-cigs lately.

"They are about 35 percent of our business," she said. "Much more that we projected."

E-cigarettes have caught the attention of Inverness city leaders. The city council will vote soon on an ordinance that would ban the use of e-cigarettes in all county owned and controlled buildings. Places like city hall and a few other spots.

The e-cigarettes don't produce smoke, they produce vapor. Cabot McBride is a city council member and he says it doesn't matter. You can't smoke tobacco in city buildings so e-cigs shouldn't be allowed either.

"Good manners and common sense," he said. "The jury is still out on e-cigarettes when it comes to their overall health standards and safety. The FDA has concerns about these things and we share some of those concerns."

The ordinance also says city employees wouldn't be able to use vapes when they're on the clock and that's OK with city employee Sheila Densmore.

"We banned smoking from the building a longtime ago and I just don't think that should be a part of it either," she said.

Back at Pandora's Box we told Lacey about the ordinance. She has no problem with it. For her, it boils down to one thing.

"Really, I think it's just respect, is what it comes down to," she said.

The ordinance will go up for a vote early next month after a public hearing.

If the ordinance passes and somebody is caught using a e-cig, they'll get a warning at first. After that they could face a fine or possible jail time.