LOS ANGELES (Reuters) The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as “vaping,” from restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other public spaces in the nation’s second largest city.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed to Reuters that he would sign the measure into law in the coming days.

When he does, Los Angeles will join a growing list of cities, including New York, Boston and Chicago, that restrict the use of e cigarettes, which are battery powered cartridges filled with liquid nicotine that creates an inhalable vapor when heated.

At stake is the future of an industry that some analysts believe will eventually overtake the $80 billion a year tobacco business.

Public health experts fear that vaping, which has recently gained popularity among teens and young adults, may serve as a gateway to smoking for the uninitiated.

Critics also point to potential harm posed from second hand vapor from e cigarettes, saying too little is known about the effects of the chemicals contained in the cartridges.

“We have an obligation to protect the workforce from the effects of secondhand aerosol exhaled by people who choose to ‘vape’ on e cigarettes,” said City Council member Mitch O’Farrell, who co sponsored the proposal.

“We also have a responsibility to protect our youth and everyone else in public places from the carcinogens found in the ultra fine particles in e cigarette aerosol,” he said.

The proposal was opposed by the makers of e cigarettes, who pitch their product as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes and say there is no evidence that second hand vape smoke is harmful. Advocates of e cigarettes also say they can help smokers kick the habit.


The Los Angeles ban differs from restrictions in other major cities in that it was amended to allow vaping in lounges and e cigarette stores and for filming or theatrical purposes.

“Although we believe the final decision was made in the absence of credible science, it was a more reasonable and sensible approach than the original proposal,” NJOY, the largest independent maker of e cigarettes, said in a written statement.

“NJOY remains concerned, however, that banning e cigarette use in public places could deter current tobacco smokers from using the products and thus disserves public health,” the company said.

The City Council action comes as the U.S. government is contemplating further regulations at the national level.

The Food and Drug Administration has already proposed a rule that would bring e cigarettes under its jurisdiction and could potentially require companies to register and pay fees, list the ingredients in their products, obtain approval for new products and restrict online sales and marketing to children.

A law passed in 2009 gave the FDA the authority to regulate cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll your own tobacco.

It also gave the agency the power to deem other tobacco products to be within its jurisdiction, but it must first issue a rule to that effect.

E cigarette companies believe they should be exempt from the full spectrum of regulations, saying that would stifle innovation, damage small business and hurt consumers trying to quit smoking.

Tobacco company Lorillard Inc, the owner of the blu e cigarette brand, is the dominant player in the field, followed by privately held NJOY and LOGIC Technology. The three account for an estimated 80 percent of the market.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Meredith Mazzilli, Ken Wills and Jan Paschal)

Tallahassee: anti-smoking groups work to kill e-cigarette bill in florida – legislature – miamiherald.com

Cigarette ads come back to british tv – nytimes.com

TALLAHASSEE A bill seeking to ban the sale of e cigarettes to minors has attracted some unlikely opponents the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association.

The anti smoking organizations weren&#x92 t always lined up against the proposal. But they became outraged when state lawmakers added language that would go further, stripping local governments&#x92 ability to regulate the sale of e cigarettes and tobacco products.

&#x93 This bill is another attempt by Big Tobacco to weaken protections we all seek to keep electronic smoking devices and tobacco out of the hands of our kids,&#x94 said Brenda Olsen, the chief operating officer for the American Lung Association in Florida.

Rep. Frank Artiles, R Miami, who is sponsoring the bill with Rep. Ronald Renuart, R Ponte Vedra Beach, said the bill was not intended to loosen the laws.

&#x93 We are trying to have uniformity throughout the state of Florida,&#x94 Artiles said Monday, adding that his bill incorporates some of the most stringent controls on e cigarette sales in the state.

He faces a challenging road ahead, especially with the new opposition. E cigarettes are battery operated devices that turn liquid nicotine into an odorless vapor. The act of inhaling is known as &#x93 vaping.&#x94 Unlike traditional cigarettes, e cigarettes do not contain tobacco. But critics say they can be just as dangerous, depending on what chemicals are in the nicotine.

Their popularity has soared in recent years, with vape shops springing up across the state.

Teenagers are helping drive sales. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found that the number of middle and high school students using e cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012.

Earlier this year, the state Senate passed a bill (SB 224) prohibiting e cigarettes from being sold to minors without restricting the power of local governments.

The House version (HB 169) did not include the language taking away local governments&#x92 rights to regulate the sale of e cigarettes and tobacco products when it was first filed in October. That provision was added during a committee hearing last month.

Artiles said the provision was needed because several Florida municipalities &#x97 including Weston, Sunrise and Lighthouse Point &#x97 had begun enacting their own e cigarette ordinances.

&#x93 We cannot have 415 cities and 67 counties having different types of e cigarettes laws,&#x94 he said.

As the bill moved through the Legislature, Artiles also added new, more stringent restrictions on e cigarette sales &#x97 including one requiring the devices and other electronic nicotine dispensers to be kept behind the counter in convenience stores.

Local governments and anti smoking groups were focused on the preemption language &#x97 and its potential to override existing municipal ordinances.

Compounding their concern the language applies to the sale of all tobacco products, not just electronic cigarettes. While only handful of local governments have ordinances restricting the sales or use of electronic cigarettes, dozens have ordinances regarding the sale of tobacco products. Florida Association of Counties President Bryan Desloge said municipalities should retain that authority.

&#x93 The form of government closest to the people is the government that knows what&#x92 s best,&#x94 Desloge said. &#x93 We would like to continue to be able to govern locally.&#x94

On Monday, Artiles said he would consider allowing existing tobacco sales ordinances to be grandfathered into the law.

The tobacco industry has long had a powerful presence in Tallahassee. Tobacco companies have pumped at least $465,000 into statehouse races in the current election cycle, records show.

Altria, the parent company for Philip Morris, and the Jacksonville based Swisher cigar company each gave $50,000 to the Republican Party of Florida. The Dosal Tobacco Corp. of Miami Dade County gave $175,000 and $37,500 to the state Republican and Democratic parties, respectively.

Artiles denied that the tobacco industry was behind the changes to his bill.

&#x93 Everyone had to compromise,&#x94 he said. &#x93 The cities and the counties don&#x92 t want the state to regulate tobacco . The tobacco companies don&#x92 t want the restrictions. Both sides are giving up something.&#x94

Artiles blamed the local governments for the controversy.

&#x93 This is nothing but a power struggle,&#x94 he said. &#x93 They hate the word preemption. But in some instances the state of Florida has the ability to preempt local governments .&#x94

He added &#x93 If they kill the bill, this is going to be another year that kids get to buy vaporizers and smoke e cigarettes.&#x94