Mantachie Town Hall

Mantachie Town Hall

Teenage vaping at Mantachie Town Park have prompted the town’s leaders to consider new regulations for the park.

“There’s been several students who drive to school who are parking at the town’s park so they can vape [e-cigarettes],” Mantachie Police Chief Mark Roberts told the town’s board of aldermen during their April 9 meeting. “Also many of them are leaving their cars there and walking to the school instead of moving them to the school parking lot.”

Smoking in any form is prohibited on school property.

Roberts said there are safety concerns at play. He cited a recent incident in which an 18-year-old blacked out while vaping in the park’s parking lot. The individual had to receive medical attention. The police chief said he wasn’t certain what substance was in the e-cigarette, or why it caused a reaction.

“The incident could have ended much worse than it did,” Chief Roberts noted.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices used to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. They resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

Many look like everyday items such as a pen or a USB memory stick. “Vape” or “vaping” refers to the vapor emitted from e-cigarettes.

Mantachie leaders passed an ordinance in November 2014 banning public e-cigarette or vapor inhaler use within their town’s limits. Use in either form is forbidden inside local businesses and in or around town property like city hall and the park. Although the ordinance is in place, students are remaining in their cars while they vape … private property and therefore legal.

Mantachie leaders are considering an ordinance that would limit use of the park’s parking lot to those who are actually using the facility. They agreed to bring back a sample ordinance to their May meeting and discuss their options.

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