On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to impose substantial restrictions on e-cigarettes, the Los Angeles Times reports. The council extended all regulations currently governing conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes as well, meaning that individuals are now barred from smoking e-cigarettes in parks, on beaches, in restaurants, in bars, on most work sites, and more.
E-cigarettes will continue to be allowed in “vaping lounges,” or establishments that purvey various styles and flavors of electronic cigarettes.
Before the 14–0 decision, lawmakers offered personal testimony about the effects of secondhand smoke and problems of cigarette addiction. However, there is no evidence that the water vapor emitted from e-cigarettes is harmful to others, and e-cigarettes have been shown to help people quit smoking.
Many worry that by treating e-cigarettes in the same way as cigarettes, lawmakers will eliminate the incentive for long-time smokers to use e-cigarettes, which can help them quit.