Los Angeles City Council has decided to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in the city's public places. This includes restaurants, bars, nightclubs and public spaces.
The decision followed a vote taken by the city council this week, the BBC has reported. The council voted unanimously to ban the battery-powered devices, which are filled with nicotine liquid. Los Angeles follows behind New York and Chicago in imposing similar rules. The ordinance allows an exception for so-called "vaping lounges."
In a separate vote council members narrowly defeated a measure that would have created an exception for 21-and-over establishments such as bars.
An E-cigarette is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking. Most devices use a heating element known as an atomizer, that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some solutions contain a mixture of nicotine and flavorings, while others release a flavored vapor without nicotine. There is debate in several areas about the safety of e-cigarettes. Some argue that e-cigarettes have fewer toxic effects than traditional cigarettes; others, like the British Medical Association, state that the nicotine levels delivered are highly variable and note that little research has been published to date.
The L.A. ban came in the wake of a new report that electronic cigarettes “do not discourage, and may encourage” young people to take up or carry on smoking. This is according to a study undertaken by the University of California’s Center for Tobacco Research and Education, and as reported in The Independent.