Kanawha-Charleston health board approves vaping ordinance

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health approved changes to the county’s Clean Indoor Air Act on Thursday.

In a unanimous vote, the board amended the policy prohibiting the use of smoking tobacco products in public places to include electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. Using such devices cannot happen inside or within 15 feet of locations such as restaurants, retail stores and most businesses.

The health board opened a public comment period on Dec. 12; the board received 37 comments, 18 of which supported the policy and two in opposition.

According to Dr. Sherri Young, the executive director and health officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, 17 comments were labeled as “unclassified,” meaning the notes pertained to vaping but not the proposed policy.

“I think people may already treat vaping a lot like smoking in regard to public places,” she said. “I’ve got to say that in Kanawha County, I’ve never witnessed anyone vaping where people would normally not be allowed to smoke anyway.”

The policy went into effect upon passage. Businesses will have to place signs at their businesses noting the ban.