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LA City Council bans e-cigarettes just like the real thing

Electronic cigarettes will be prohibited in Los Angeles workplaces, bars and outdoor public parks under a city ordinance passed Tuesday. The ban essentially treats e-cigarettes the same as tobacco products, although there is not evidence at present showing any harm is caused by  vapors exhaled from e-cigs.

Still, some public health advocates argue e-cig manufacturers are targeting young people, which could mean the devices are a "gateway" habit leading to tobacco use. Critics of the new ordinance say this ban could deter current tobacco smokers from the using the products, thereby doing a disservice to public health.

What's your reaction to the ban? Is it an overreaction to ban them even from outdoor spaces, or is it responsible since harms are unknown?

Guests: 

David Zahniser, LA Times reporter covering Los Angeles City Hall, local government; LA Times coverage of the e-cigarette ban can be seen here

Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City Councilmember for the 13th District which includes parts of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Atwater Village

Mark Kleiman, Professor of Public Policy at UCLA School of Public Affairs and the editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis