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politics

E-Cigarettes Headed For a Smoking Ban

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Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 7:08 AM
click to enlarge MICHAEL DORAUSCH / FLICKR

We hope you're enjoying puffing on those electronic cigarettes in the club while you can, hipsters, because it's not going to last. Not at this rate.

A proposal that has been breezing through the California legislature would treat e-cigarettes just like cigarettes, subjecting their users to no-smoking rules, despite the new smokes' water vapor discharge:

The proposal by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett will come before the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee for its consideration Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the legislator told us.

That after being passed by the senate and undergoing only slight changes in language, we were told.

The law would limit e-cigarette smoking at "residential dwelling units, school campuses, public buildings, as defined, places of employment, day care facilities, retail food

facilities, and health facilities," according to its language.

Corbett argues that the dangers of e-cigarette smoking and second-hand vapors are still unknown.

The medical marijuana community has for years advocated vaporizers as safer than joints, bongs or pipes because they use lower temperatures and employ liquids and, in the case of cannabis, waxes.

(Some people also use e-cigarette-like vaporizers to smoke wax incognito in clubs, though they still smell like weed).

E-cigarettes, of course, are popular in restaurants, clubs and bars because, at least for now, they allow you to smoke without producing, well, smoke. (Some businesses do chose to ban them, however).

Corbett says:

SB 648 limits the use of e-cigarettes as they pose unknown health risks in a public space, We must always stand on the side of public health since we still do not yet

fully understand the safety of chemicals present in e-cigarette vapors or when nicotine itself leaks from the products. It simply makes sense to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product when they are already prohibited in many public spaces.

Don't like it?

There's a Change.org petition for you. It says, in part:

E-cigarettes give off a vapor that is not harmful to those around them. E-cigarettes also do not contain the thousands carcinogens that cigarettes contain. E-cigarettes are a safe alternative for those people who want to quit smoking. Putting a ban on e-cigarettes takes away a safe option for those wanting to quit.

Of course, some of those claims have to be proven. But it's your Democracy. There's still time to fight this if you're feeling burned.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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