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Julia Boyle enjoys an electronic cigarette at the Vapor Shark store on February 20, 2014 in Miami, Florida. As the popularity of E- cigarettes continue to grow, leading U.S. tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc. the maker of Marlboro cigarettes are announcing plans to launch their own e-cigarettes as they start to pose a small but growing competitive threat to traditional smokes.
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?
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