Manhattan City Commissioners approved an ordinance on first reading prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and places of employment.
It also heard some backlash from local E-cigarette and Vapor businesses including vape shop owner Crayton Caswell, of Manhattan Vapors. Caswell expressed his concern that vaping provides an alternative to tobacco use and this ordinance undermines the distinction between the two products.

Caswell shared a statistic of a two percent drop in the smoking rate in the United States in 2015, which was the first period of time e-cigarettes were widely available on the market, adding it is shown that vaping provides an alternative to tobacco products.

The new city ordinance would in-effect treat e-cigarette use the same as tobacco use with all of the same public regulations, except with special permits given to local e-cigarette and vape stores to allow customers to vape within the confines of that store.

City Commissioner Wynn Butler liked the way the ordinance had been re-drafted from the last discussion, saying he would have voted no if they had tried to ban the retail e-cigarette stores, putting people out of business. While he says he doesn’t use the product, he doesn’t see banning it–comparing it to drinking alcohol.
Commissioners Tuesday night also passed a resolution to send a letter to Riley county commissioners to annex and rezone the Manhattan Regional Airport’s Fixed Base Operator Facility, currently identified as an “island annexation,” to the city.
Also Tuesday night, Flint Hills Human Rights Project Chair, Katie Jordan, thanked Manhattan City Commissioners for including LGBT citizens in the city’s policy against discrimination .

The updated ordinance officially went into effect Nov first, though getting to this point wasn’t easy for LGBT citizens, with a similar ordinance being passed in 2011 and immediately rescinded.

According to Jordan, the new ordinance “more than doubled Manhattan’s municipality index score by the Human Rights Campaign, making it the highest rated city in Kansas.”

And Pawnee Mental Health services is set to celebrate its 60th anniversary of providing services to the Manhattan area. Manhattan Mayor Usha Reddi, proclaimed the date to which Pawnee Mental Health Services recognizes it’s start in the Manhattan area.

Pawnee Mental Health Services Executive Director Robbin Cole also spoke on the occasion in Tuesday’s meeting. The anniversary will be celebrated on Thursday, November 10th, in the Houston Street Ballroom with honored guests such as the Mayor and City Commissioner Karen McCulloh.

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