Village may target vaping among kids

Schools are having issues with the unsafe fad
Ozaukee Press staff

The Village of Fredonia will likely be  cracking down on underage vaping in coming weeks.

The Village Board is in the process of considering a new ordinance that would give the Fredonia Police Department authority to penalize violators, particularly in schools.

The board considered a draft of the ordinance on June 2 but sent it back to staff to ensure the language was clear and enforceable.

Village President Don Dohrwardt said trustees seem supportive of adopting the ordinance but are still figuring out details.

“There was a few things we wanted to tinker with there,” he said.

The ordinance draft stated that the purported benefits of using vaping devices rather than smoking cigarettes has not been scientifically proven and that research has identified known health risks to children’s health and development associated with use of electronic smoking devices and vapor products.

Research also indicates that e-cigarette smoke may contribute to lung and bladder cancer, as well as heart disease. Vaping devices can also potentially release unsafe amounts of toxic metals such as lead, chromium, manganese and nickel in its vapors, which users inhale.

If adopted, the ordinance would restrict the possession, sale or purchase of vaping devices to those younger than 18.

It would also prohibit the use of vaping products in school buildings, on grounds or at school activities.

Violators could face a fine, but the amount has not been finalized.

The ordinance is being considered in part to address an issue with vaping devices at Northern Ozaukee School District.

Undersheriff Christy Knowles said the district has an issue with the devices and that students do not seem phased by penalties imposed by the district.

She added that some students avoid enforcement in schools by removing vape cartridges from devices before entering school grounds.

Ozaukee County Corporate Counsel Rhonda Gordon said cartridges can be confiscated at school but not devices.

Knowles said her department hopes issuing tickets for violations will make a difference.

Adopting the ordinance was suggested by Fredonia trustee and Ozaukee County Supr. Joshua Haas.

Haas said Ozaukee County crafted a vaping ordinance in part to impose harsher penalties for those vaping underage at Northern Ozaukee School District.

Haas noted that while the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office responds to most incidents at the Northern Ozaukee School District it might still be useful for the village to enforce the policy.

The Ozaukee County Board approved an ordinance amendment which restricts underage vaping on June 1.

County documents stated that there has been a rise in juvenile possession of vaping devices — which contain nicotine or THC — and that the county’s former ordinance did not address possession of vaping devices among youths, only nicotine products.

The ordinance amendment now allows the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office to penalize those under the age of 18 who possess or attempt to purchase vaping devices.

Those violating the ordinance will have any tobacco products seized and could face a $25 fine.

The ordinance amendment also includes language that makes it illegal for any person or retailer to sell tobacco products to those who are underage.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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