Santa Maria considering e-cigarette ban
March 3, 2014
The Central Coast may have a new trend-setting city in the implementation of smoking restrictions.
On Tuesday, the Santa Maria City Council will consider adopting an e-cigarette ban. The city has already banned smoking in most public places, but the restrictions do not apply to e-cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices which simulate tobacco smoking. The devises generally uses a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some of the solutions contain a mixture of nicotine and flavorings, while others solutions release a flavored vapor without nicotine.
While touted as a way to reduce cigarette smoking, the risks of utilizing e-cigarettes are uncertain. Concerns over possible side effects and users developing nicotine additions have resulted in the ongoing debate over regulation.
Santa Maria City staff is asking the council Tuesday to amend its municipal code to include lighting e-cigarettes as a form of smoking.
The San Luis Obispo City Council, which historically leads the way with smoking bans, voiced support last month for making the same change to its municipal code. On Feb. 4, the San Luis Obispo council unanimously directed its staff to place an e-cigarette ban on a future agenda.