Richland again considers park smoking ban

The City of Richland is again considering a limited ban on smoking and E-cigarettes in areas of public parks.

That’s conflicting news for Trevor Naugle.

He opened The Lazy Eye glass and smoke shop in Richland in 2009.

He fell in love with glass blowing in high school and made the art a piece of his business.

“It's a lot of ups and downs,” says Naugle. “But you know, owning a business is going to be.”

He says one of his shop’s biggest draws is electronic vapor modules and liquids.

“It's been a great seller for us the last couple years, so we wouldn't want bans of any sort on it.”

The city’s proposed ordinance would ban anyone from vaping at:

1. The spectator seating of the performance stage at John Dam Plaza.
2. On or within 25 feet of a city-owned playground structure.
3. At city-owned aquatic facilities.
4. On or within 25 feet of bleacher seating and sports fields at any city-owned athletic facility.

The revised ordinance no longer includes public docks, marinas, or beaches.

Naugle says he understand the smoking ban, but argues that vaping is much less impactful.

“It's not a smoke, it's a vapor. There's significantly less chemicals in it than any tobacco.”

Naugle hopes the fire behind the ban is extinguished, so that he can more easily continue to make money for his girlfriend and two young children.

“People assume the worst, when we're all just trying to support our families.”

City councilors went over the first reading of the ordinance Tuesday night.

If approved, the city would implement a public education campaign prior to enforcement.

Signage and education programs would begin in the winter. Full enforcement would begin in Spring 2017.

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