Los Angeles Business Journal

L.A. Council Passes E-Cig Restrictions

By Howard Fine Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to ban smoking of electronic cigarettes at all public buildings and restaurants, as well as at parks, playgrounds, beaches, libraries and public schools in the city.

The council voted 14-0 to approve an ordinance that places the same restrictions on the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, as on the smoking of traditional cigarettes.

The ordinance allows the smoking of e-cigs at any of the scores of vaping lounges that have recently opened around the city and by performers during theatrical productions.

Supporters of the measure say that because e-cigs contain nicotine, their use should be restricted until the health impacts are fully studied. Opponents of a ban say that e-cigs release fewer toxic chemicals than conventional cigarettes and provide a way for smokers to wean themselves off nicotine.

In December, the council voted to ban the sale of e-cigs to minors. That ordinance also requires that e-cigs be sold only by licensed tobacco retailers and bans their sale at kiosks and displays directly accessible to customers.

Other local cities have also begun regulating the sale and use of e-cigs, including Long Beach and Beverly Hills.