Nicotine-starved members of Derry City & Strabane District Council got a ticking off from the Mayor for ‘vaping’ in the council chamber during the last monthly meeting before the summer recess.
The Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle, reminded members inhaling vaporised chemicals and nicotine through electronic cigarettes was not allowed.
About two hours into the six hour meeting councillors were told that, unfortunately, if they wanted to ‘vape’, they would have to leave the chamber.
“There are some guidelines within Council around smoking, particularly within the chamber, and it includes vaping.
“So, just to members who vape: you are not allowed to vape in the chamber. You have to vape outside the chamber,” said the Mayor.
The Mayor’s intervention provoked some mirth among councillors.
Independent Councillor Paul Gallagher joked: “Mayor, do you not think there’s enough tension in this room without people not getting access to their smoke?”
The Mayor replied: “I’m not picking on anyone but it’s for members’ information, for all members who vape.”
While deemed less harmful than smoking tobacco through cigarettes, cigars and pipes, the jury remains out on how harmful electronic cigarettes really are.
‘Vaping’ advocates claim the mix of nicotine, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, flavourings and water contained in ‘vape’ is relatively safe but opponents believe more research is required.