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LA Council Bans E-Cigarette From Many Public Places

LA Council Bans E-Cigarette From Many Public Places

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council today moved to ban e- cigarette use, often called "vaping,'' inside bars, nightclubs, restaurants  and other public areas where tobacco smoking is restricted.

The council voted 14-0 to approve the ordinance that prohibits vaping at  farmers' markets, parks, recreational areas, beaches, indoor workplaces such  as bars and nightclubs, outdoor dining areas and other places where lighting up  is banned.

Vaping lounges and stores will be exempted from the ban, similar to  exceptions made for cigar and hookah lounges under tobacco smoking regulations.

E-cigarettes used for "theatrical purposes'' will also be allowed.

An amendment by Councilman Joe Buscaino that would have allowed an  exemption for bars failed on a 8-6 vote.

Buscaino, in presenting his amendment, argued that while he supported  keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors, the ban at bars would tread on  the rights of adults to use e-cigarettes.

The battery-powered devices, which have been marketed as smoking- cessation aids, enable users to inhale a nicotine-laced vapor.  

Some city and public health officials say not enough is known about the  effects of chemicals contained in the liquids. Supporters of the regulation  point to studies indicating that chemicals considered harmful by the Food and  Drug Administration -- such as nickel, lead and chromium -- have been detected  in e-cigarettes.

"Safer does not mean safe,'' Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's public  health director, told the council. ``Although they are less harmful than  traditional cigarettes, some e-cigarettes contains some health risks.''

Fielding added that e-cigarette sales have grown into a "$1.5 billion industry that has caught the attention of big tobacco which historically has  had scant regard for public health.''

 

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