CLARK, NJ — Smoking tobacco cigarettes may be on the decline, but the rising popularity of electronic smoking devices — or vaping — has the township looking to curb that as well.
Following a presentation on the dangers of smoking e-cigarettes to Carl H. Kumpf Middle School eighth-graders last month, Mayor Sal Bonaccorso and the council recently adopted an ordinance prohibiting e-cigarette use in front of municipal and school buildings.
“This was a cooperation with the school district,” Bonaccorso told LocalSource in a March 23 phone interview, four days after the ordinance’s passage.
Before, “there wasn’t anything to say that people weren’t allowed to vape.”
Smoking e-cigarettes is not a “rampant problem” in Clark, he said, “but I am aware that students are getting involved in this throughout the state.”
Adolescents are more likely than adults to use the devices, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports on its website.
“In 2016, more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 4.3 percent of middle school students and 11.3 percent of high school students.
Despite e-cigarettes being a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, they are not approved by health officials.
The CDC notes that while they generally contain fewer toxic chemicals than the 7,000 agents in tobacco smoke from regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes can also contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds and cancer-causing agents.