The Los Angeles City Counsel voted unanimously (14-0) on Tuesdays, to approve an ordinance banning the use of e-cigarettes in public areas like bars, nightclubs, parks, and restaurants. Vaping lounges and smoking clubs will be exempt from the ban, but sales of e-cigarettes will be restricted to adults 18 or older.
City Councilman, Mitch O’Farrell, justified the decision to restrict the use of e-cigarettes by explaining, this regulation helps control “the second-hand aerosol exposure to thousands of employees in the work force, young people.” However, research has yet to determine the extent to which e-cigarettes may pose a health threat to the public.
E-cigarettes have gained lots of popularity in the past year, and have been increasingly promoted as helping cigarette smokers quit smoking. Now, it’s ironically getting banned by the city counsel for being harmful to the public?
This seems counter-intuitive. If in fact e-cigarettes are helping smokers quit their deadly addictions, then they’re actually benefiting the public in the long term. E-cigarettes could potentially help the public and the smokers’ well-being because there would be less smokers. Thus, banning e-cigarettes may actually be counter-productive in promoting a smoke-free environment, in the long term.
Sometimes it’s important to question the motives behind certain politically motivated ordinances that get approved by city counsel. It is clear that e-cigarettes have taken a considerable market-share away from conventional cigarette companies. These cigarette companies have always lobbied and promoted their political special interests, throughout history.
When you consider, who stands to gain the most from this ordinance? The answer is clearly the cigarette companies! Now that e- cigarettes will be restricted, cigarette smokers will have less of an incentive to switch and quit.