Proposed ordinance to keep vape products out of hands of Green Bay minors

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- On Monday, the Green Bay Protection and Policy Committee took the first official steps to keep vaping products out of the hands of minors.

Action 2 News has reported, Appleton, Kimberly and Little Chute have all passed vaping ordinances.

While it's already illegal for minors to purchase nicotine products, some vape liquids do not have nicotine in them.

Either way, more teens are getting their hands on e-cigarettes and vaping products.

The Food and Drug Administration says e-cigarette use among high schoolers increased 78 percent from 2017-2018.

Green Bay is now getting in on the fight to keep these products out of the hands of minors, even if they don't have nicotine in them.

“It does seem like a really smart way to go with minors with all the question marks there are with vaping now, this seemed a practical and safe thing to do,” said Alderman Randy Scannell, he pushed to have the ordinance drafted.

The committee took up an ordinance preventing minors from possessing or buying vape products and prohibits minors from vaping in public.

The ordinance passed unanimously, and will now go to the city council for a vote.

Alderman Randy Scannell pushed for the ordinance.

“There's been some studies that show these chemicals might have some hazardous health effects so until more studies are done and we know exactly what those chemicals are and what those health risks are, I think it's prudent to keep minors from using these products,” said Scannell.

Staff at Johnny Vapes in Green Bay say they are already doing their part.

“We expect our customers to be 18 years or older and we make sure they have an ID present as soon as they walk in the door,” said Nate Care, an employee.

But, employees say minors are still getting their hands on vaping products.

“They can go on to websites, they can say yes I'm 18, click here, enter in a birthday, submit a driver's license. They can use a friend's driver's license, grab a brother's or a sister's driver's license and easily get it shipped right to their house,” said Care.

The proposed ordinance would fine sellers up to $500 dollars if caught selling vape products to minors.

The police department says minors could be fined for vaping in public or having vaping products, but generally police give warnings.

The ordinance is modeled after similar measures passed in Neenah and Appleton.