News

Counties crack down on e-cigarettes

Smoking e-cigarettes is getting harder to do in parts of the Bay Area after the San Francisco and Santa Clara County boards of supervisors approved restrictions on the devices on Tuesday.

The smoking devices are battery-operated and involve inhaling a vaporized liquid that can include nicotine and other substances.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors took on the issue at the meeting March 25, and approved preliminary changes to the county's no-smoking policy to include restrictions on e-cigarette use and sales where cigarettes are banned, including at county facilities, parks, hospitals, and areas near county buildings, along with apartment buildings, hotels and motels.

The board agreed that there would be restrictions for e-cigarette sales similar to those for regular cigarettes.

A more comprehensive ordinance covering e-cigarette regulations will be back for a board vote in May.

A staff report compiled for the meeting stated, "Unfortunately, the rapidly increasing use of e-cigarettes threatens to undo much of the social norm change around tobacco."

According to the staff report, while there are no federal regulations yet, "over 100 cities and counties across the United States, including more than 40 counties and cities in California, have placed restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes."

Supervisor Ken Yeager said he is concerned that the devices are being marketed to young people and have unknown health consequences.

"It's harder to know exactly the health impacts on people who inhale the vapors from these e-cigarettes, but we know that they are being very much marketed to youth, and that is a great concern given all of the efforts that we have done to discourage people, particularly minors, from smoking," he said at today's meeting.

Detractors of the e-cigarette bans include members of the state chapter of NORML, or the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and the national Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association.

The groups are concerned about restrictions on vaporizer use, which would impact medical marijuana and other non-tobacco product users.

Supporters of e-cigarettes fear medical marijuana users will be forced to smoke outside with cigarette smokers, and that new laws will impact people who use the device to stop cigarette use.

The groups also say there is scarce evidence on the health risks involved with using e-cigarettes and that the faux cigarettes may be a safer alternative.

An ordinance regulating use and sales of electronic cigarettes was unanimously passed in a final vote at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' meeting March 25.

E-cigarettes will be treated like other tobacco products and will have sale restrictions and age limitations like their traditional counterparts.

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar sponsored the bill that prohibits use of electronic cigarettes where traditional cigarettes are already banned. According to Mar, there are potential health risks from the vapors released, and flavors such as grape, peach and chocolate are enticing youths to use the product.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

This just goes to prove what I have been saying all along about bans. Most are not based in any way on scientific data, they are based on the personal dislikes of whomever happens to be in office at the time and are done for financial reasons or the desire to control people or both!

Bans on smoking are said to be for health reasons. For E-cigarettes, there is no proof of harm to the user and no effects from second-hand vapor inhalation. This is your nanny-state in action! Banning a LEGAL product because they don't like the 'image' it presents.

These are the same people that want to ban video games because the claim the games make people violent. The fact is that people should be allowed to make their own choices on how they want to live their lives and should be held accountable if they do harm to others.


Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link
info@electneal.org


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV Voter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Here's one vote Jim Neal will not be getting..........mine!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Mr. Neal is correct. Bans on E-cigs are a knee-jerk response to a potentially life-saving technology.

Tobacco cigarettes contain 600 additives, which create 4000-7000 chemicals when burned (estimates vary). At least 69 are known to cause cancer.

Web Link

E-cigs do not involve combustion, hence the vapor (not smoke) does not contain any of those 4-7000 chemicals. No one but an idiot (or an E-cig rep) is arguing that E-cigs are entirely safe for the user but they are clearly 1000% less toxic than cigarettes, and arguably completely safe for non-users exposed to the vapor (especially outdoors in parks).

I personally know two lifelong cigarette addicts who have almost completely eliminated their smoking habit by replacing it with E-cigs. The nicotine addiction remains but the truly odious toxic soup of cigarette smoke is gone from their lives. Their health has improved noticeably.

E-cigs represent an existential threat to Big Tobacco. Cigarette companies and pharmaceutical companies who benefit from sales of nicotine patches & gum want to see E-cigs go away. Plus, as stated in the article, bans on E-cigs harm medical cannabis users, many of whom find these portable vaporizing systems a godsend that allows them to manage serious ailments on the go and thus live a normal life.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Interesting, Cigarettes did not cause the oldest proven lady in the world, Jeanne Calments any problems and she lived till 122 yrs old. It's in the guinness book of records. The lady following her as the oldest person to live was also a smoker, she lived till 114.

Whats this mean? It means that this anti-tobacco industry doesn't know a damn thing when it comes to tobacco. It's just plane simple prejudice against smokers.

If someone is destined to die from cancer they will die from cancer, whether they smoke or not.

For more info on Centurians smokers that lived a long life go to,

Web Link

Cheers


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lady Jane
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 27, 2014 at 10:12 pm

I'm a lot more worried about TCE contamination.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Oh you all missed the most important part.

eCigs could encourage kids to start smoking.

You always have to think of the kids. If this stop just one kid from smoking it will be worth it.

Just one kid.. that's all it takes to lose your freedom.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2014 at 2:40 pm

@MV Voter: No one cares


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