SLO council backs e-cigarette ban
March 4, 2015
The San Luis Obispo City Council has unanimously endorsed a proposal to ban the use of e-cigarettes in most public places. [Tribune]
On a 5-0 vote, the council passed the first reading of an ordinance that calls for extending the city’s existing smoking ban to the use of e-cigarettes. The proposal would also require retailers to obtain a tobacco sales license in order to sell e-cigarettes in the city.
Additionally, the council moved to ban the use of e-cigarettes inside businesses that sell them. The ordinance is expected to return to the council in two weeks for a final vote of approval.
San Luis Obispo is now slated to become the first city in the county to place a ban on e-cigarette use. Santa Maria did so last year, and more than 40 cities and counties in California have enacted similar ordinances.
In January, the California Department of Public Health released a report stating e-cigarettes contain at least ten chemicals that are known to cause cancer or birth defects. Prior to the release of the report, Democratic Senator Mark Leno introduced a bill that would ban the use of e-cigarettes in places where smoking is prohibited.
San Luis Obispo’s current smoking ban applies to sidewalks, parking garages, bars, restaurants, stores, stadiums, playgrounds and bus stops.
Opponents of the new ordinance argue that vaporizing helps people break their addiction to traditional cigarettes and does not pose similar health risks. Some also say that the ordinance will harm local business.