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No vaping ban in Las Vegas parks, at least for now

Electronic cigarette use and vaping in Las Vegas city parks will not be outlawed for now, though the bill’s sponsor said the issue might be raised again in the future.

Councilman Brian Knudsen, who introduced a proposal to ban the use of electronic smoking devices in city parks, struck the bill from council consideration Wednesday. Knudsen said he believed the bill did not have enough votes to pass and that he will seek to bring more awareness to the seriousness of vaping.

“The reasons behind the proposal of the bill are not diminished by its removal,” he said in a statement.

The city already has a law against traditional smoking in city parks. Knudsen’s proposal would have added electronic devices to the ban and expanded the new rule on smoking to cover all areas of a park.

It is a misdemeanor to smoke in certain parts of a city park, including sports fields, bleacher areas and sections designated for children’s play.

The proposal was a response to constituents who sought smoke-free parks and to the meteoric rise of vaping among young people, Knudsen has said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said e-cigarettes are unsafe for children, young adults and teens.

In his statement, Knudsen, who is on the board of the Southern Nevada Health District, cited the CDC’s reporting that one in four high school students said this year that they used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

“It became apparent that not enough was widely known about the seriousness of vaping,” he said. “Therefore, we will be working with our colleagues at the health district and community leaders to bring about more awareness on vaping and e-cigarettes and then may reintroduce the ordinance later.”

Similar bills have been passed by Henderson and North Las Vegas. Clark County and Boulder City do not have laws that address smoking in parks.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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