County moves to regulate e-smoking devices

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SAN DIEGO — The Board of Supervisors today took two actions intended to limit the use of electronic-smoking devices.

Vista Looks To Ban Electronic CigarettesThe board voted 3-1 to add several types of such devices to its anti- tobacco policy, and ordered staffers to look into outlawing the devices in county areas where traditional cigarettes are banned.

Staffers were given until May 6 to draft a proposal to mirror the county’s policy banning conventional cigarettes in county public facilities, workplaces and indoor facilities in unincorporated areas in regards to electronic smoking devices.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, recommended that county policies give electronic smoking devices and conventional cigarettes equal standing.

The board also approved updating the wording in its tobacco use, cessation and prevention policy — which already covered electronic cigarettes – – to include several similar devices like electronic cigars, cigarillos, pipes and hookah. The policy emphasizes reducing minors’ access and limiting exposure to secondhand smoke.

Supervisor Dave Roberts said the devices, some which are decorated with cartoon video game characters, were gaining popularity with county youths. Others are disguised to look like asthma inhalers or soda cans with straws, he said.

“Ecigarettes are likely to be a gateway device for nicotine addiction among children,” Roberts said.

Supervisor Bill Horn, who cast the dissenting vote, said the smoking devices were a valid tool for those trying to quit smoking, and were not combustible, did not emit an offensive odor and many had less nicotine than regular cigarettes. Also, he said a law barring minors from accessing the devices should be taken up at the state level.

“I don’t think we ought to be telling adults that they can’t use these things if they’re trying to get off nicotine,” Horn said.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob disagreed, saying electronic smoking devices did not lessen tobacco addiction.

“The answer to smoking is stop smoking or don’t start in the first place,” Jacob said.

4 comments

  • Guest

    The Board would rather see people die slow and painful death of Cancer than see people trying to kick the tobacco habit with e cigs.

  • Steve

    I don't recall a public vote or even a public consensus on this matter, It's just another example of your elected officials flexing their muscles and pushing through whatever agenda they have
    I don't smoke or use electronic cigarettes but I'm against this measure… every time government takes something away from somebody else they are one step closer to taking away something from you.
    You saw the commercials… they were totally biased and without any factual evidence at all, they showed images of young menacing people blowing huge clouds of smoke out their mouths. Why not show a man in a business suit or an attractive woman puffing on an e-cigarette?
    They have told you what "will be" and what you can or can't do without your say so.
    Supervisors Dave Roberts and Dianne Jacob need to be replaced, do not extend their political career in the next elections
    I personally will campaign against them and support anybody who runs against. them
    Applause to Bill Horn for the common sense dissenting vote… he has and always will be our Supervisor.

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