County to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday adopted an amendment to the county code to prohibit the use of electronic smoking devices in places where tobacco smoking is banned, including public buildings in unincorporated areas and parks.

Electronic cigarettes vaporize nicotine in a liquid solution, and the smoker inhales vapor rather than tar and other harmful compounds in tobacco.

FDA proposes first e-cigarette rules, including banning sales to minorsA UC study, however, recently concluded that vapor from e-cigarettes trigged defense mechanisms in MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, making the already hard-to-kill superbug harder to kill.  Critics also have questioned the safety of flavorings added to nicotine solutions.

The battery-operated devices, which are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, can be bought online and in convenience stores and smoke shops.

Critics have called electronic cigarettes a gateway to tobacco smoking.

Supervisor Bill Horn agreed that electronic cigarettes were a “good tool to get people to quit smoking,” but the county should “protect the public in public spaces.”

Pat Meyer of San Diego, who used an electronic smoking device to help quit smoking three years ago,  agreed with the supervisors that smokers who reduce or eliminate their exposure to tobacco should be applauded.

Smoking should not be re-normalized, Meyer said, and the use of e- cigarettes by minors should be prohibited. Like smokers, “vapers” should be considerate of others.

“Bans do nothing to inform anyone,” Meyer said. “Teaching the realities of vaping can be difficult — highly publicized distorted allegations have resulted in public demonization. Many have already closed their minds to information that might stimulate reassessment.”

In March, the Board of Supervisors agreed to regulate the devices and added them into the Tobacco Use, Prevention and Cessation program. The restrictions will take effect in 30 days.

Supervisor Ron Roberts stressed that the regulations would not put electronic smoking devices out of business, but would only limit where they could be used.

“If people want to use it to stop smoking, God bless them, but they’re just not going to be able to do it everywhere,” Roberts said.

—— Story by Sarah Sapeda of City News Service


  • Guest

    County would rather see people die slow and painful death from tobacco rather than try to see people kick the tar habit with e-cigs. Maybe cancer victims could sue the county?

  • Mikey Angelo

    Stupid, just stupid. Let's ban anything we don't have 200 years of conclusive research on…

    And again- So it's okay to walk into a restaurant or public place with a big ol lip of dip but not to puff vapor?

  • prezzi delle sigarette

    This electronic smoke starter unit is not worth what you are paying for,
    and will no doubt break and abandoning you need to purchase another electronic smoke
    starter pack. Since I have started using an Electronic Cigarewtte I have wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
    It should be used with caution since not only do the FDA tests show there are
    dangers, but there are other dangers to e-cigarettes to consider as well.

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