Los Angeles Bans Public Vaping
City Council unanimously backs electronic-cigarette limitations
LOS ANGELES -- Tuesday afternoon Los Angeles became the third major metropolis to ban the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping products in public spaces. Bloomberg reported that LA’s City Council voted 14-0 to approve a measure that will hold electronic cigarettes to the same strict usage restrictions applied to combustible tobacco products.
Before the ban can go into effect, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti must sign the legislation into law, and a spokesperson for the Garcetti says the mayor will not veto the measure.
The decision comes one week after the City Council's Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River committee unanimously approved the proposal, despite protests from electronic cigarette consumers and manufacturers.
Although a smoker himself, City Council president Herb Wesson voiced opposition to electronic cigarettes because of their potential to be a gateway to tobacco use.
“I will not support anything that might attract one new smoker,” he said during debates over the proposal. “I can’t sit silent on this. This kills. It probably will kill me, ultimately.”
Kathleen Hoke, director of the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation and Advocacy at the University of Maryland, told Bloomberg that Los Angeles, Chicago and New York’s actions are likely in response to the lack of e-cigarette oversight on the federal level--and may just be the tip of the iceberg.
“This is a precursor to changing state laws,” she said. “A lot of businesses are doing this on their own. People are accustomed to clean air in public places or workplaces, so this is kind of an extension of that, even though people don’t know what’s inside these electronic cigarettes.”