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E-Cigarettes Banned from Bars in L.A.

PHOTO: The Los Angeles City Council has voted to ban "vaping" in most work sites and many public places, including parks and some beaches. The council has also denied an exemption to the ban that would have allowed tobacco-free e-cigarettes in bars, despite some concern that banning them might actually lead to more smoking. Photo courtesy FDA.
PHOTO: The Los Angeles City Council has voted to ban "vaping" in most work sites and many public places, including parks and some beaches. The council has also denied an exemption to the ban that would have allowed tobacco-free e-cigarettes in bars, despite some concern that banning them might actually lead to more smoking. Photo courtesy FDA.
March 5, 2014

The Los Angeles City Council is outlawing "vaping" in most work sites and many public places, including parks and some beaches.

The council on Tuesday also denied an exemption to the ban that would have allowed tobacco-free e-cigarettes in bars, despite concern that banning them might actually lead to more smoking.

Dr. Jeff Stier, risk-analysis director for the National Center for Public Policy Research, said e-cigarettes have helped many nicotine-addicted adults quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. He said the new regulations will tempt non-smokers to start smoking again.

"This law would require former smokers to go outside with the smokers," he said. "That's nonsense! They have a drink, they're a former smoker, you're going to put them outside with smokers, they're going to go back to smoking."

Opponents of e-cigarettes believe they help make smoking socially acceptable and would reverse decades of anti-smoking campaigns.

Stier told the City Council there's no solid research that secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes are harmful to others and that regulations should be narrowly tailored to achieve a public health goal. He says they shouldn't do more harm than good.

"E-cigarettes do not re-normalize smoking," he said. "They normalize not smoking."

The American Lung Association has stated concern that e-cigarettes are marketed to young people and believes the Food and Drug Administration should be involved in regulating them.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA