E-cigarette ban goes into effect in Beverly Hills

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Daryl Cura demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Daryl Cura demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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BEVERLY HILLS (CNS) – A new law banning electronic cigarettes from public places went into effect this week in Beverly Hills, with one vapor lounge owner calling the regulations “unfair.”

E-cigarette users, who call themselves “vapers,” in Beverly Hills are now relegated to the ranks of tobacco smokers, due to a ban on e-cigarette use at bars, restaurants and other public areas as of June 1.

There are some exceptions. Indoor workplace vaping will continue to be permitted at lounges and retail stores dedicated to e-cigarettes.

Tanner Bloomfield, chief operating officer of Beverly Hills Vapor, said electronic cigarettes should not be lumped in with regular ones.

“I believe it is unfair, absolutely,” Bloomfield. “There is nothing we can really do about it other than voice our opinions.”

The Beverly Hills City Council voted to regulate electronic cigarettes in February, with city officials saying it was important to regulate the nicotine delivery devices while the FDA reviews the products.

The regulations ban electronic cigarettes in locations where smoking is restricted, including enclosed workplaces, open-air dining areas, city buildings and city-owned transit systems.

Bloomfield said he understands that some people may not want to inhale the vapor.

“I understand that people around us don’t want to be inhaling the vapor if they are not choosing to,” Bloomfield said, adding that the devices are mainly used to help people quit smoking.

The ordinance allows landlords to restrict or prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in their buildings. Also, the cigarettes will not be allowed to be sold from vending machines.

The city also directed city staff to begin a public outreach program to educate the community about the new e-cigarette regulations.

The ordinance was drafted in response to the growing popularity of the devices. A National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that e-cigarettes are popular among youth.

Los Angeles enacted similar regulations in April.

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