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Draper Journal

Teens lead change to city’s smoking ordinance, 700 West development passed

Nov 03, 2017 10:32AM ● By Travis Barton

E-cigarettes and electronic oral devices are now included in the city’s outdoor smoking prohibitions at city parks. (Pixabay)

Spearheaded by two local teenagers, Draper City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s language on outdoor smoking prohibitions to include e-cigarettes. 

The two Corner Canyon high school students, Nick D’Amico and Gianna Gist, joined forces with McKelle Hamson, coordinator for the Draper Communities that Care Coalition, to propose an ordinance amending the city’s current language on outdoor smoking. 

Councilwoman Michele Weeks said prior to the vote how impressed she was with the teenagers’ presentation. 

“I thought it was a great example of how when you have an idea, you voice your opinion, you get together and now you see it come to fruition,” Weeks said. 

Their proposal was intended to help recognize the changing trends in the tobacco industry. D’Amico pointed out to the city council that the city eliminated smoking in city parks in 2008, but the ordinance doesn’t cover the new vaping technologies. 

In the teens’ initial presentation to the city council, Gist proposed an ordinance similar to one adopted by Riverton City where e-cigarettes are banned in city parks for a safer environment. 

The city ordinance added new terms to the definition of parks to include splash parks, dog parks, skate parks, arenas, amphitheaters, playgrounds and outdoor pools. 

Hamson said the definition for outdoor smoking now includes “inhaling, exhaling, burning or heating a substance containing tobacco, using nicotine intended for inhalation through a cigar, cigarette, pipe, or hookah, use of an e-cigarette or any other oral, smoking device intended to circumvent the prohibition of smoking.”

Councilman William Rappleye said he heard positive feedback from community members he spoke with regarding the ordinance. 

“There seems to be a lot of public support for it,” he said. 

Prohibitions include smoking within 25 feet of bus stops and 50 feet of mass gatherings unless in designated smoking areas. Mass gatherings are defined as an outdoor assembly of 100 or more people on city-owned property that can be reasonably expected to continue for two or more hours. 

Violators may be fined up to $25 or given a warning by police officers. 

This is not the first time D’Amico and Gist have been involved in educating the public on the health dangers of vaping. 

Both D’Amico and Gist were members of Corner Canyon’s peer leadership team that in February, attended a Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America Conference in Washington, D.C. 

Students learned how to analyze issues in their community that need improvement. Youth vaping in Draper was the problem they chose to tackle. 

At the time, Gist told the Draper Journal that they “want to speak to our representatives and senators as well as our local leaders on how to change regulations so it isn’t as easy to get these things, like e-cigs.” 

Looks like they continued their work. 

Other item of note:

• The city council voted to approve the Jenson Farms development of almost 50 acres at 11875 S. 700 W. to be turned into a residential subdivision by Bowler Properties. 

Access points between this subdivision and the neighboring Ivory Homes development were included after much discussion. The development will also include a park and potentially an LDS church. 

According to city documents, the development will contain a maximum of 86 single-family homes at a density of 2.3 units per acre. 

“A lot of future residents will live here,” said Councilman Jeff Stenquist. “I think it’ll be good to have interconnectivity and some of these other amenities. I think it’ll be a beautiful development.”