Q Does Section 29-5-161 (Clean Indoor Act) allow a board of supervisors to prohibit the public from using electronic cigarettes in county buildings? If not, may the board prohibit the public from using electronic cigarettes under Section 19-3-40 due to a public health concern?

A An electronic cigarette does not meet the definition of “smoke” or “smoking” as defined in Section 29-5-161 (“any form that contains lighted tobacco”), so this Section does not authorize a prohibition against electronic cigarettes. Pursuant to its home rule authority, a board of supervisors may adopt an ordinance prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes where it is not already regulated by state law, such as in county owned buildings. The ordinance must sufficiently describe the prohibited conduct, so as to give the public notice of what is proscribed. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Neyman, May 2, 2014)