Vaping has been banned in most public places and places of employment within the City of Page, by an ordinance passed by Page City Council at its Nov. 16 meeting. The ordinance takes effect on Dec. 16.
Until now, Page has relied on Arizona state law for smoking-related regulations. State law prohibits smoking in most public places and places of employment but does not cover vaping.
The ordinance was initiated by Councilor Theresa Lee, who said at the Nov. 16 council meeting that she had been approached by “several very, very upset and unhappy” residents who were smokers and who had encountered people vaping inside businesses in Page.
“It was brought to my attention that we don’t have an ordinance that actually regulates vaping indoors. but the state is requiring us to regulate smoking indoors,” Lee said, adding that as a representative of the city, she believes “the law needs to be applied equally.”
As a result, Lee approached Page City Attorney Josh Smith to draft a city ordinance to cover smoking and vaping indoors.
“For the most part, this is a copy-and-paste of the state regulations for smoking, and I just added a definition of electronic cigarettes and included in the definition of smoking that it includes the use of e-cigarettes,” Smith said. “So, it regulates it exactly the same as smoking tobacco.”
The resulting ordinance (700-22), which was passed unanimously by all city council members on Nov. 16, amends the city code of ordinances by adopting a new chapter 96 related to the regulation of smoking and electronic cigarettes and providing for enforcement and penalties.
Violating the ordinance is a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $300 for an individual, or up to $500 for a business owner.
Exceptions to the ban include private residences, hotel rooms designated as smoking rooms, separated areas within retail tobacco stores, veteran and fraternal clubs not open to the general public, religious ceremonies practiced pursuant to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, outdoor patios, and onstage theatrical performances if smoking is part of the performance.