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New York, Los Angeles and Chicago Consider Banning E-Cigarettes in Public Places

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New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are considering adding e-cigarettes to their public smoking bans. Public health officials in those cities say the devices are harmful and can be a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal reports.

New York’s City Council is scheduled to vote today on the e-cigarette ban. If passed, e-cigarettes would be prohibited in public places including restaurants, bars, stores and some parks. Legislators in Los Angeles and Chicago could vote on e-cigarette bans as early as January.

Supporters of e-cigarettes say they can help smokers quit, and that there is no evidence vapors produced by the devices are toxic. Many scientists say e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes.

Critics of the devices say secondhand vapor is a pollutant, and e-cigarettes can get more people addicted to nicotine. “There are reasonable concerns and reasons for folding them into the existing clean-air framework for cigarettes,” Tim McAfee, Director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the newspaper.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will propose rules on regulating e-cigarettes. The FDA is expected to consider e-cigarettes as tobacco products, which will allow the agency to provide the same federal oversight that applies to cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigarette tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco. E-cigarettes could be subjected to the same requirements for disclosure of ingredients, manufacturing quality and restrictions on sales to minors that apply to regular cigarettes. The article notes the FDA proposal is expected to be published in coming weeks.

A study published earlier this week suggests people who use e-cigarettes indoors may be exposing the people around them to nicotine. The amount of secondhand nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes is much smaller than from traditional cigarettes, the researchers concluded.

5 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of TJ
    TJ / March 6, 2014 at 12:05 am

    If nicotine is not illegal then the government has no cause to ban it’s use, if that use is not harmful to the user or others health. E-cigs

    are not tobacco smoke and no different than a patch or the gum. If nicotine is not illegal than anyone and everyone who enjoys using it should

    without judgment. These types of bans are based on morality rather than public health risk. Control. The simple emulation of smoking tobacco

    and the special effect of water vapor appearing as smoke, a danger to the moral fabric of our civil society according to law makers! Simply

    ridiculous. The annoyance and health risk of actual cigarette smoke a good reason for public support of banning smoking in certain spaces.

    With e-cigs this element is non existent. The e-cig is a great invention. It allows our friends and family who enjoy indulgence in nicotine to

    stay with us in restaurants, bars, airports, etc. instead of having to leave us to smoke without bothering us and others. There should be no

    shame in the addictive use of nicotine, no more than the millions who are addicted to powerful Starbucks hybrid coffee drinks full of unruly

    amounts of caffeine who are not judged for their weakness. Soon because of these prejudice laws, e-cigs manufacturers will remove the special

    effect of water vapor appearing as smoke and their use will be undetectable and unnecessarily discreet. Something tobacco makers can not do.

    - Thomas Jefferson -

  2. Avatar of Jason N
    Jason N / December 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I think e-cigarettes should be banned in all places that smoking is banned. For one, people are very rude and unnecessary with e-cigarettes. I witnessed a woman smoking one during a school play in the audience. If you cannot smoke a cigarette in the establishment, then you should not smoke an e-cigarette. I work at a substance abuse treatment facility and we would not allow patients to smoke e-cigarette in the facility. I don’t think that something like this should need a law, but I feel that establishments should make it clear the type of behavior that they will allow. Some smokers will sit at a nice restaurant or in a movie theater and puff on an e-cigarette. It is a matter of being a respectable person. As a smoker, and a person with manners, I think that smokers are rude and obnoxious. I would like to see e-cigarettes banned in all indoor establishments that do no allow smoking. Come outside and smoke with the rest of us.

  3. Doug Moser / December 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    To Tim McAfee or JT staff: I’d like to know more about e-cig “vapor a pollutant” and what the “reasonable concerns and reasons” are — were they left out of this summary/post?

  4. Fr. Jack Kearney / December 19, 2013 at 11:59 am

    There is no scientific evidence to show that ecigs cause any real risk or harm, except to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. These bans will help sabotage a proven smoking cessation tool and make it harder for addiction counselors like me help smokers. Why are they helping the tobacco companies?

  5. Avatar of James G
    James G / December 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Please don’t think for one minute, that tobacco companies don’t have a hand in these”e-cigs”. If they didn’t , they would have undoubtedly sued someone for undermining their billion dollar death trap. If people want to be as healthy as possible , just don’t smoke! This is like trading liquor for beer. Former smoker…

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