As concerns over the health risks of vaping continue to dominate headlines nationally, Toms River has introduced an ordinance that will take the state’s law forbidding the sale of vaping products a step farther – outlawing possession of them in certain areas.
In New Jersey, one must be 21-years-old before being eligible to purchase so-called “e-cigarettes” and stores must not sell vaporizer devices or cartridges of liquid to be used in them to anyone under that age. Toms River’s ordinance, introduced in a unanimous vote by the township council on Tuesday, would make the very possession of such products to be illegal in within 1,000 feet of any school property.
The ordinance, as proposed, bans both the use and possession of vaporizers, cartridges and similar devices by anyone under age 18 by modifying the township’s Drug Free School Zone ordinance to include vaping products. The ordinance also makes it illegal to purchase any of those products for a person under 18-years-old, regardless of the location. Vaping products would also be illegal to sell, in general, in any vending machine, and every store in town which sells the products would be required to place a notice of the ordinance in public on a sign at least 6-by-8 inches in area.
“It’s obvious a growing problem across the country and we felt we needed to do something to address it,” said Councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill, who is also mayor-elect in Toms River.
Violations of the ordinance would be subject to the township’s general penalty, which is normally a fine or community service.
A public hearing and second vote on the ordinance will occur at the Nov. 26 meeting of the township council, set for 6 p.m. at the municipal complex.