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L.A. Moves Forward On Proposal To Treat E-Cigs Like Regular Cigs

A woman smoking from an e-cigarette (Photo by Diego Cervo via Shutterstock)
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A Los Angeles City Council committee backed a proposed ordinance to ban e-cigarettes from "no-smoking" public places like bars and parks.

The measure to treat these vapor devices like traditional cigarettes was presented to the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee at a meeting on Monday night. The committee voted unanimously in favor of the plan and a full council will vote on the measure in the first week of March, according to NBC Los Angeles.

If passed, the regulation would also ban e-cigarettes from being used at nightclubs, recreational areas, beaches, farmers' markets and outdoor dining areas, reported CBS Los Angeles. However, vaping lounges and film production sets would be exempt from this measure. Smoking clubs would also only be able to sell and allow the use of vaping products to people 18 years or older.

“This is something that will ensure public safety for people who don’t necessarily want to be around vapors from e-cigarettes,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, one of the authors of the proposal, said in the meeting, according to KTLA.

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This measure comes in the wake of the uptick in e-cigarette use and was originally proposed in December by City Attorney Mike Feuer and councilmembers O’Farrell, Paul Koretz, and Bernard Parks, reported CBS Los Angeles.

Some researchers found e-cigarettes to be less harmful than regular cigarettes in regards to heart function, but Feuer argues that the vapors contain carcinogens.

"We have made such progress over the years, where smoking is down to about 13 percent, and it would be a shame to reverse that," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, health director for the county of Los Angeles (via L.A. Daily News). "We recognize that some say (e-cigarettes) help them quit smoking, but the strength of scientific evidence to get smokers to quit is not there."

In addition, a study from the Centers for Disease Control found a surge in e-cig use among middle and high school students, according to the L.A. Times. During the meeting, Koretz said that e-cig flavors like cotton candy and chocolate were being targeted towards children.

Los Angeles Wants To Treat E-Cigs Like Regular Cigarettes