Hoover considering updating smoke ban to include vaping

Updated: May. 7, 2019 at 10:50 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A proposal before the Hoover city council would ban vaping in public areas, including inside retail shops, like Vapeology, a store owned by Randy Toffel.

Toffel says his business would definitely suffer.

“Nobody that comes in here to purchase vape would be allowed to vape inside the shop, employees wouldn't be able to vape inside the shop,” says Toffel.

In the new draft, those who run a business out of their homes wouldn’t be allowed to smoke inside their home office. Toffel calls that government overreach. We talked with Dr. Mark Wilson with the Jefferson County Department of Health, who is familiar with the city’s proposal.

“And the way I’d like to view this is the beginning of a discussion. And I think we need to have more discussions with council members to try to work out something that everybody can live with,” says Wilson.

Wilson says there is no doubt Hoover’s smoking ordinance needs to be updated.

“It even allows smoking in restaurants with separate ventilation systems, smoking/non-smoking areas which we know does not protect people from second-hand smoke,” says Wilson.

Wilson says the main focus is protecting the general public and employees who have smoking co-workers.

“I think there’s room for compromise, we don’t want to put anyone out of business,” says Wilson.

Toffel says he’d be happy just adding to the existing ordinance.

“Just to include electronic vaping devices, you’re not going to vape where you’re not supposed to smoke. I don’t think any vaper has a problem with that, cause they’re already doing it.”

City council members say this was just a first reading, and that they definitely will be discussing it further at their next meeting to see if they can come to a compromise.

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