On Monday, the Kenosha Common Council voted to approve an ordinance to restrict the age that people can buy electronic cigarettes and vaping products, and where they can smoke them in public in Kenosha.

“When I went door-to-door to get elected in this aldermanic district, people would say, ‘How come you’re running for alderman?’ and I would always say, ‘Because I think I can make a difference,’ said Dominic Ruffalo, who served as the principal sponsor of the ordinance. “With this ordinance, we can; we can make a difference.”

The language of the ordinance essentially puts electronic cigarettes and vaping products on the same plane as traditional tobacco cigarettes: a person must be 18 or older to buy them, and they can only be used in designated areas in public.

The penalties for violating the new ordinance also will mirror those currently on the books for tobacco use and sale.

It was only a matter of time until laws were passed regulating the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products. And with more doctors and studies coming out questioning the health impact of such products in comparison to traditional tobacco cigarettes, the timeline for action sped up.

“(Electronic cigarettes and vaping devices) are marketed to the public as safer and cooler than tobacco smoking, but they’re not,” Dr. Tim Sanborn, medical director and chairman of cardiology services at Froedtert South, told Kenosha News’ reporter Heather Poyner earlier this year.

At the heart of the ordinance is not a malicious intent by the city to have a negative impact on users of the products. The focus is on making sure that the people using such devices are mature enough to understand what they are putting into their bodies and old enough to be subjected to addictive elements such as nicotine.

And that is something that we support. We’re against junior high school students and high school students age 17 and younger having such easy access to smoking products.

A uniform law makes regulations clear and promotes public health. Council made the right move.

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