Municipal Ordinances Banning E-Cigarette Use Gathering Steam
The push to apply anti-smoking regulations to e-cigs seems to be gaining traction at the local level in the United States. The most recent examples are in California, where the city of Richmond (near San Francisco) and the city of Carlsbad (near San Diego) have moved forward on proposals regulating the use of electronic cigarettes. Richmond’s City Council has unanimously okayed an ordinance banning the use of ecigs in all “enclosed” public spaces – even open-air parks. Meanwhile, the Carlsbad City Council has given initial approval to a proposal that bans vaping anywhere where smoking is prohibited, including outdoor seating areas at restaurants.
Those actions come as the California county of San Bernadino has banned electronic cigarettes from all county facilities, following the example of nearby Riverside County which last year approved a similar law.
Across the country, meanwhile, a committee of the New York City Council held its first hearing on a proposal which would ban all e-cigarette use in public places.
Most proponents of the restrictions cite a recent Centers for Disease Control study which showed the use of ecigarettes up sharply among middle school and high school students. However, electronic cigarette supporters charge that the CDC sensationalized their news releases on the study, and didn’t highlight the fact that nearly 75% of the students using e-cigs had previously been regular tobacco smokers.