"There's definitely a health benefit here:" Greenfield Common Council unanimously approves e-cig ban

GREENFIELD (WITI) -- The City of Greenfield's Common Council has voted unanimously (5–0) to extend smoking prohibitions within the city to include electronic smoking devices.

The ordinance prohibits the use of any electronic smoking device in all Greenfield school buildings and grounds, municipal buildings, and any indoor workplace within the city.

A sign outside a Greenfield gas station announces "We Sell e-cigarettes," but soon those who live in Greenfield will be banned from smoking electronic cigarettes in public buildings.

"There's definitely a health benefit here," Greenfield Health Department Director Darren Rausch said.

Rausch says the ban applies anywhere the 2010 "Smoke Free Air Law" is in effect.

Rausch drafted the ordinance at the request of police looking to regulate e-cigarettes in schools.

"We`re on the cutting edge in Wisconsin, but there are other cities that have done this -- both Ashwaubenon and Onalaska within the last several months," Rausch said.

"I feel like it`s a bunch of people who don`t understand how difficult it is to quit smoking cigarettes," Matthew Murphy said.

Murphy is the founder of "Lakeview Vapor" in Bay View. He says there's strong demand for the battery-powered vaporizers with their many flavors and scents.

"I`ve never had anybody tell me I can`t smoke it in the bar, but I`m very conservative. I don`t blow giant clouds," Murphy said.

People on both sides of the issue say there's little research available about the health impact of e-cigarettes, but one customer says they've helped him cut down on his nicotine intake.

"I go into a lot of bars and I normally ask the bartender first if it`s okay and nobody`s had an issue with it yet," Bryce Nielsen said.

“This ordinance protects the public health, safety, comfort and general welfare of the residents of Greenfield. Residents have overwhelmingly supported clean indoor air since 2009, and this ordinance preserves clean indoor air from the increasing use of electronic smoking devices," Rausch said in an earlier statement to FOX6 News.

The e-cigarette ban could go into effect sometime in November. A ticket for smoking an e-cigarette where they are not allowed will be the same as smoking an actual cigarette.