Carmel adds vaping to city's smoke-free ordinance

In this April 11, 2018, file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
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CARMEL, Ind. (WTHR) – Carmel has become the latest city to ban vaping in public places.

Monday night city council voted unanimously to add e-cigarettes to the city's smoke-free ordinance.

It came amid growing concerns over the number of students vaping at school, whether it be in locker rooms, restrooms or elsewhere.

"I think it's pretty common at this point," said Carmel High School senior Thea Bertolini. "It's kind of easy to get (e-cigarettes) so, I think that's why a lot of kids are getting them."

But with the revised ordinance, it will no longer be as easy to use them on school property or other any other place where smoking is banned.

"We basically put (vaping) in the same category as smoking," said Carmel Councilor Bruce Kimball.

He said it came at the urging of school resource officers, who said students were vaping and sometimes with more than flavored liquid.

While school policy prohibited vaping, Kimball said the revised ordinance makes it illegal, allowing officers to issue tickets with fines starting at $50 and going up to $500 for repeat violations.

"So, if smoking is banned somewhere so is vaping and our officers can control it that way," Kimball said.

Taya and her mother said they're both behind the move.

"I think it should definitely be banned in schools," Taya said. "You're not there to hang out. You're there to learn and get an education."

Her mother Anna Bertolini said, "I think anything that's an addictive kind of thing... lets make it as hard as possible to do."

The revised ordinance also extends the smoking and vaping ban to trails, parks and other public places. That includes all bars, except three which were grandfathered into the revised ordinance.