By Nicole Jones
Manvel City Council on Dec. 16 approved the first of two readings of an ordinance eliminating the “smoking in restaurants” ordinance, and adopting a newly created “Clean Indoor Air” ordinance, which was described as an enhanced version of the Smoking in Restaurants ordinance.
The former ordinance prohibited smoking only in bars and restaurants, while the latter includes workplaces as well as the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. Councilman Dan Davis explained that the new ordinance isn’t designed to prohibit people from smoking or vaping, but to protect others from second hand vaping or smoking particularly in confined spaces.
Many cities this year amended smoking ordinances to include vaping after a surge of reports from people getting sick or dying from vaping-related lung illnesses.
Brazoria County has reported 10 cases of lung injuries associated with use of e-cigarette products. These cases have come from Pearland, Alvin, Angleton, West Columbia, Lake Jackson, Richwood, and Freeport, ranging in age from 17 to 39, the county reports. CDC reports over 2,000 cases of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products across 49 states, and over 30 deaths have been confirmed in 24 states. (Symptoms associated with these lung injuries include cough, chest pain and shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, fever, chills or weight loss.)
In its new ordinance, the Manvel Council opted to define a “bar” within the city has a business getting 60 percent or more of its sales from alcohol.
The council during that meeting also approved a plat for Manvel Town Center Section One, land located west of Highway 288 and North of Highway 6, as well as the Meridiana Plats.
The council is set to meet in regular session at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 6, at 20025 Highway 6, Manvel. Meetings are open to the public and a period for comments from the public is provided.