Plattsburgh approves public vaping ban

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) E-cigarettes are no longer allowed on public property in Plattsburgh following a unanimous vote by city leaders Thursday.

"It just felt like it was consistent with our prior law to include e-cigarettes," said Plattsburgh Common Council Member Rachelle Armstrong, Ward 1.

E-cigarettes were added to the ordinance that already prohibits traditional tobacco products.

But some locals, like Eddie Kiesa, don't see why there was a need for the law. "Maybe cigarettes, you might have some clout there. But I don't know, the vape stuff was all designed to be inside in the first place and now you cant even do it outside, so I don't know. It doesn't make sense to me," Kiesa said.

The law went into affect Thursday night after the council's vote and the city is now e-cigarette and tobacco-free on all public streets, sidewalks and parks.

Councilor Armstrong says it's for the health and well being of the people who use those public spaces. "Vaping is on the rise and there are toxic chemicals in vapor. They're harmful to both the person who inhales the vapor and those who breathe the secondhand smoke," she said.

There is a $100 fine for violating the ordinance.

"I really see it as highly doubtful that some patrol car will come to a screeching halt and arresting somebody and citing them, but we want to create awareness that there is a penalty, that there is a risk," Armstrong said.

Many people on the streets were unaware of the new law or, the old one restricting cigarettes in the city. Armstrong says that has to do with a lack of signage and that there is a new campaign in the works to tackle that. "We'll be depending on signage from Tobacco Free New York to make it clearer to the public what the expectations are," she said.