UPDATE: Mayor signs e-cigarette ordinance
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will regulate the use of e-cigarettes to better protect public health, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell announced today.
The ordinance regulates the usage of electronic smoking devices where smoking is prohibited by law.
The original motion was a collaborative effort between City Attorney Mike Feuer and Councilmembers O’Farrell, Paul Koretz, and Bernard Parks.
"We have an obligation to protect the workforce from the effects of secondhand aerosol exhaled by people who choose to vape on e-cigarettes,” said O’Farrell. “We also have a responsibility to protect our youth and everyone else in public places, from the carcinogens found in the ultra-fine particles in e-cigarette aerosol. These are the same toxins that are known to cause cancer and restrict arteries."
The Council voted on an amended ordinance that will exempt vapor lounges and vapor stores, as well as theatrical performances.
"Today is a wonderful victory for public health and public safety in Los Angeles,” said Koretz.
Discussion in council lasted nearly two hours with dozens of people submitting public comment cards.
“We cannot wait for the federal government to dictate our future and we cannot trust these Big Tobacco companies who are once again trying to lure us into a lifelong nicotine habit,” said Parks. “What Los Angeles does, the nation follows and I’m excited that today we showed we are brazen when it comes to preserving the health of our residents."
The ordinance has the support of Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the Public Health Officer for the County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee (TEROC), American Council on Science and Health, Beyond the Bell Branch, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and Breathe California.
“It is important that until we can establish that e-cigarette use is safe,” said Feuer. “We must err on the side of caution.”
E-cigarettes are not currently regulated by the federal government, and there are no restrictions on the ingredients manufacturers use. Manufacturers are not required to disclose what is in e-cigarettes, in the emissions, or the health dangers of users and non-users.
The new law will go into effect 30 days after the Mayor signs the ordinance. More information can be found in the council file.
PHOTO CREDIT: Betsy Annas, City of Los Angeles
The office has confirmed that the Mayor signed the ordinance and it will go into effect on April 19. Similar ordinances in New York and Chicago will go into effect April 29.