Juneau Assembly updates city smoking restrictions, including vaping

By January 8, 2019 January 16th, 2019 Health, Juneau, Local Government

The Juneau Assembly approved changes to the city’s anti-smoking law Monday that include increasing the smoking buffer around businesses.

Smoking tobacco is already illegal in and around most businesses in Juneau. The new rules bring the city into compliance with a statewide anti-smoking law passed last year, much of which already aligns with city code.

At a Monday meeting, Assembly member Loren Jones proposed an amendment adding language that includes vape pens and other electronic smoking products.

He said he wanted to bring the city into compliance with another state law related to restrictions for vaping.

“So if you look at Senate Bill 15, it talked about vaping with nicotine products, and it added to that the use of electronic smoking product so that you got to that expanded definition that if it didn’t contain nicotine, it’s still smokable, still vapes,” Jones said during the meeting.

City Attorney Robert Palmer explained that city code already addresses some electronic smoking products, but not all.

“So it’s a little bit broader there. There is a little bit of redundancy because our current code does currently prohibit certain vaping types of smoking,” Palmer told the Assembly.

Both Jones’ amendment and the ordinance passed unanimously.

One thing the ordinance does not address is the use of marijuana products.

Last month, the state Marijuana Control Board approved regulations for onsite marijuana consumption for approved retail stores. The rules still need to be reviewed by the state Department of Law before they are final.

Under current city code, smoking marijuana products is not allowed in private clubs or retail shops. The Assembly is expected to discuss onsite marijuana consumption at a meeting next month.

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