MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — So far this year, more than 50 deaths across the country have been linked to vaping.

Now, one suburb is taking a small step towards tackling the epidemic as a whole.

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“I don’t think it’s too strong a word to say that this is really a crisis,” said St. Louis Park City Councilmember Thom Miller.

He is the force behind the proposed ordinance that would ban the sale of vaping products and e-cigarettes in the city.

“We don’t think for a minute that this really solves the entire problem of vaping in St. Louis Park by any stretch, but we think a problem of this size really takes lots of different small solutions,” Miller said.

Right now, the city has approximately 20 businesses that sell tobacco, but only eight that sell vaping products. Each business owner was given notice of the proposal.

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Latavia Lee is a smoker herself, but thinks the ban is a good idea to help protect children and high schoolers.

“I feel like if it’s going to help, then … ban it. It is going to prevent all these young kids out here from ending up in the hospital,” Lee said.

Ann Widman says she’s still divided on the issue because vaping helped her daughter quit smoking.

“I’m kind of torn because I have a child who likes to vape. I mean, she’s 22, so she makes her own choices,” Widman said.

City council members are expected to vote on the ordinance at a meeting on Jan. 6. If it is approved, it will go into effect on Feb. 1, 2020.

The city of Rushford is currently considering a similar approach to banning vaping products.

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