The Kyle City Council has put the finishing touches on an ordinance that prohibits any minor who is under legal age to smoke tobacco products to be in possession of an e-cigarette. The ordinance also prohibits individuals and/or businesses to “give, distribute, sell, market, or offer e-cigarettes to a minor.”
The ordinance is the result of several months of research and development by the Kyle Area Youth Advisory Council (KAYAC). KAYAC is comprised of class representatives from each grade from Kyle’s two high schools. These schools are Lehman High School and Hays High School.
“We noticed that the e-cigarette was becoming very popular among our classmates and decided to look into the product and see what it was made of,” said James Collins, KAYAC’s Vice Chair. “What we found was that very little is known about the long-term health effects resulting from the use of e-cigarettes and that there was also little or no regulation of them. We were concerned about what effect they could have on developing bodies and decided to work on an ordinance to address it in our city.”
A person who is found in violation of this ordinance will be guilty of a class C misdemeanor and will be subject to a fine up to five hundred dollars. In addition to a fine, the Municipal Court Judge may require the guilty individual to perform up to forty hours of community service and/or attend a tobacco-awareness program.
“I want to commend our KAYAC for their forethought and thoroughness in developing this ordinance and bringing it to the City Council,” said Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson. “These students are truly demonstrating leadership qualities beyond their years and I’m very proud of all the work they accomplished this year.”
KAYAC was formed in the fall of 2012 by the Kyle City Council as a means of getting the youth perspective of Kyle’s programs, services, wants, and needs.