From my new commentary on L.A.'s proposed e-cigarette ban:
On Monday, a Los Angeles City Council committee is set to consider an ordinance that would ban the use of electronic cigarettes anywhere that traditional cigarettes are prohibited under the city’s smoke-free air laws. The City Council already unanimously passed a law subjecting e-cigarette sales to the same regulations and restrictions as tobacco products — even though e-cigarettes don’t contain any tobacco.
Not only does latest move to ban e-cigarettes run counter to public opinion, it would also set back public health by implicitly discouraging smokers from seeking safer alternatives.
A national Reason-Rupe poll recently found that 62 percent of Americans e-cigarettes should be allowed in public places, while just 34 percent thought they should be banned in public places. The public sees through the types of unjustified fears espoused in the proposed L.A. ordinance, namely that e-cigarette vapor could harm users and bystanders in a manner similar to secondhand cigarette smoke and that the use of e-cigarettes might “re-normalize” tobacco use.
Read the full article here.