SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- Smithville leaders are pushing back the conversation on what's believed to be the state’s first citywide ban on all flavored vape liquids, for people of any age.
After hearing opposition to the proposal Tuesday, the Smithville Board of Aldermen decided to gather more research and offer more public input on the issue next month.
“I have students that are in my youth group that I know have tried it,” Smithville Mayor Damien Boley said. “They told me they have. They told me they were pressured into it, they were bullied into it, and they had a hard time stopping or they haven’t been able to stop.”
The board decided to allow for more public comment on the proposed ban at its meeting on Nov. 5.
Wyeth Ervin, who owns three vape shops on the outskirts of Smithville, spoke in opposition of the flavor ban.
“Adults that we service, approximately 90% of them, prefer a flavored vape or fruity dessert or candy flavor,” Wyeth said. “I believe it’s an agenda that’s being pushed by an entity that is interested in seeing vaping go away.”
Ash Viglino is another concerned citizen who's opposed to the proposed ban.
“By going after flavors you’re penalizing the legal adults who choose to use those to help them quit smoking,” Viglino said.
Alderman Jeff Bloemker voiced support for a ban.
“This is a public health issue that is in our purview to address,” Bloemker said. “As a healthcare executive I see daily, vaping issues and effects.”
Fellow board member Melissa Wilson questioned whether a city-wide ban is a realistic effort on a municipal level.
“I understand the seriousness of it don’t get me wrong,” Wilson said. “But I don’t know if this is something that we should be dealing with right now.”
So with no clear consensus on the board, Smithville leaders opted for more time.