MARIETTA — Electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco could soon be forbidden in Marietta parks, and Mayor Steve Tumlin said the city is also looking at a ban of all tobacco and nicotine use on the city’s sidewalks.
Cobb and Douglas Public Health Deputy Director Lisa Crossman and planning and policy specialist Jazmyn McCloud made the pitch to the city’s Judicial and Legislative Committee on Tuesday.
They said the city already bans combustible tobacco products like cigarettes, pipes and cigars in parks, but this plan would add non-combustible forms of nicotine such as chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vapes.
E-cigarettes are small devices that vaporize a liquid containing nicotine and flavoring, which users breathe in. Supporters say they are safer than cigarettes and a good way for smokers to kick the habit, but others say they are not fully tested and the variety of appealing flavors could lead children to become addicted.
“While there’s much information being uncovered around e-cigarettes, we do know that it’s not safe, and it is roping a new generation into participating in e-cigarettes, and potentially a gateway into other drugs,” McCloud said.
Crossman said the amount of nicotine in one Juul pod— Juul is a popular brand of e-cigarette— can contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
“A lot of people who use the vapes and the Juuls don’t realize that the amount of nicotine that they’re ingesting is so much more concentrated than even in tobacco products,” she said. “So you are not having all the tobacco combustible issues, but you’re having severe nicotine addiction starting early on.”
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