Douglas County is again looking at changes to its ordinance dealing with tobacco and minors.
The current ordinance prohibits the sale of tobacco products to people younger than 18 and also prohibits them from possessing tobacco products.
However, after a misunderstanding arose about the penalty portion of the ordinance, corporate counselor Caroly Pierce took a look at the ordinance to determine what it meant.
"I split it into two different ordinances because it's easier in terms of the penalties," Pierce said.
One ordinance restricts the sale or gift of nicotine or tobacco products to minors, and the other addresses possession by minors. However, neither ordinance refers specifically to vaping products, which prompted the Public Safety Committee to make changes last month to its ordinance.
State law doesn't specifically address vapor products, which would be required for the county to restrict them, Pierce said.
"The state's got to get going," Supervisor Rosemary Lear said.
"The county can't restrict it based on vapor products," Pierce said. "We can restrict it as nicotine products. The city has a little bit more leeway in terms of how they define things ... the county is restricted to what the statute says. At this point, the statutes just say 'nicotine products,' which encompasses most of the vapor products."
The new ordinances were approved by the Public Safety Committee and will be considered by the Douglas County Board when it meets April 18.