Indianapolis Airport Authority approves ban on e-cigarettes at airport

INDIANAPOLIS - Board members approved an expanded smoking ordinance at Indianapolis International Airport that bans the use of e-cigarettes on airport grounds. The devices join the ranks of others (cigarettes, pipes, cigars) in not being allowed on airport grounds.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority Board of Directors considered the ordinance at a Friday morning public hearing. 

The ban was approved by a unanimous vote of the nine members of the board. Even though the hearing was public, no members of the public spoke for or against the ordinance.

The ordinance goes into effect April 1.

Back in 2007 and 2008, the airport board passed an ordinance that banned all smoking on airport grounds (except for in a few areas designated for smokers). Just a few months later, those designated areas were shut down, too.

Other forms of tobacco such as chewing tobacco are still permitted.

Don Fall, the owner of Don's Vapor, said the liquid used in e-cigarettes contains only four ingredients, including nicotine and flavoring. He disagrees with the airport's ban.

"I think it's ridiculous because vaping and smoking are two completely different things. So it's just definitely ridiculous. And they have not come out and told us that vaping is not safe," Fall said.

Airport officials said there is enough proof of possible health risks.

"There's some lab reports and studies indicating that e-cigarettes emit various toxins and particulates that can actually irritate people nearby that have asthma," Joe Heerens with the Indianapolis Airport Authority said.

The amended smoking ordinance expands the number of personnel that can enforce the ordinance and adopts a $75 fine for violations.

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