My Thoughts on Nudity & Vaping

Its been an interesting couple of days talking with folks in the lead up to tonight votes to ban public nudity and add vaping to the our existing smoking ban. As I mentioned in the meeting, I was overwhelmed with feedback from constituents and I can’t say thank everyone enough who took the time to answer my call for thoughts and ideas. I plan to make asking for feedback a regular event and if you’re not signed up to the part of the team you can do so here.


To me, this was not an easy decision. I’m not really a smoker, I have been known to partake in a decent cigar every now and then, but I’ve never had the desire to smoke cigarettes and thus never had to endure the pain of trying to quit. What I didn’t want to do was take a way a tool smokers who wanted to quit could use to help them achieve their goal. But as I learned more, I came to the conclusion that these things aren’t really designed to help one quit. I will agree it does appear that they have a smaller quantity of harmful chemicals than do cigarettes. So if you must smoke, e-cigarettes would be the lesser of two evils. However, just like cigarettes, they still emit byproducts that could harm bystanders. I emphasize could here because there is so much research that is all over the place its hard to know definitively if the leftover chemicals in the vapor are of concentrations that are high enough to do damage. But still, its not just water-vapor as I’d been lead to believe in the past.

Another interesting point was the impact to businesses. We didn’t really see that big a hit with the original smoking ban I’m told, but now we’re expecting staff to try and see what kind of thing is putting off “smoke” in the corner after they’ve been trained for years that smoking is banned. That’s going to take time away from customers and ultimately cost the business money. (I’ll be it, I didn’t think it would be that much, time is still money and in a fragile economy our business friends need all the help they can get.)

All and all, I’m glad it passed, but I do think we need to have the significantly more complex conversation of how we can try to keep these things out of the hands of teens and kids. I’m no expert here and maybe there really isn’t anything that can be done. But I think we should at least discuss it and make sure we’re doing all we can.


 Public Nudity

Such an interesting topic! What surprised me was the number of women who didn’t support the exemption for nursing moms! Again, not an expert here (not even close), but I’ve seen the faces of new moms and it looks to me like they have enough to deal with already.

At any rate, this was also a tough choice. Anytime time you start to tinker with peoples right to expression, I take that very seriously. I wanted to make sure, that anyone taking prudent steps could still enjoy a more open lifestyle if they chose. After looking over the incidents of the recent past, it seems to me that those folks who are out and about in public are really just trying to get attention. I’m not so much ok with disturbing others just for that, plus I couldn’t really find any research to support running around in the nude as a good idea.

I do agree with Councilman Harmon in that I think the language about public places is a bit vague, but hopefully we can clean that up at some-point.

I’m hopeful that we’ve crafted a solution that, as much as possible, will allow people on both sides of the issue to live life as they choose, but if it doesn’t please be sure to let me know!