Flower Mound bans electronic cigarettes for minors

Alex Helm, Writer

The town of Flower Mound approved a ban that prohibits the purchasing of electronic cigarettes by minors on February 3. This ordinance amendment also prohibits the selling of the products to those under the age of 18, and bans their use by anyone on town property where smoking is not allowed. This includes the Town Hall, the Flower Mound Public Library, other municipal buildings and parks. Senior Robin Scoggins said that she agrees with the amendment.

“I don’t think they should be used in public places where cigarettes are already banned because they can still irritate other people,” Scoggins said.

According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), Flower Mound has 100 percent smoke-free non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants and free-standing bars, but this does not extend to electronic cigarettes. Adults can still use the devices in public places that are not on town property. The ordinance was mainly put in place to protect minors and town property.

While research has not proven the vapor that electronic cigarettes emit to be harmful, Flower Mound Communications Manager Molly Fox said that the town is taking an abundance of caution when it comes to nicotine products and the public’s health.

“By prohibiting retailers to sell the electronic cigarette products to minors… we are ensuring more measures are in place to help protect our children,” Fox said.

The cities of Highland Village and Lewisville have worked with Flower Mound to help mirror similar ordinances so as not to confuse citizens as they travel from city to city. But some people, like freshman Zoe Middleton, feel like the limitations won’t completely end electronic cigarette use by minors.

“The people who are trying to follow [the ordinance] honestly are the people who are trying to quit and get away from a bad past,” Middleton said. “But people will still find a way to get their hands on e-cigs, even if they are only using them for recreational purposes.”

Fox said that even though smoking electronic cigarettes could have been allowed previously, it’s better for the town and it’s neighboring cities to limit their use so as to avoid confusion or issues regarding public health.

“Either way, [electronic cigarettes] have nicotine in them,” Scoggins said. “They could still be bad for you.”