L.A. City Council voted in favor of extending city bans on cigarettes to include e-cigarettes and vaporizers. In any location where traditional smoking is banned, namely restaurants, bars, and other nightlife establishments, e-cigarettes, and vaporizers are now banned as well by city ordinance.
This has caused considerable debate and, in some cases, protest as many business owners are vape-friendly. Business owners argue that vaporizers are truly inoffensive as they don’t produce the clouds of smoke that can harm lungs and businesses alike.
Many local business owners believe that offering the option for smokers to use vaporizers while remaining inside where they can then continue to purchase food and beverages is a distinct business advantage.
An amendment was proposed and struck down by the city council to exempt establishments that are 21 and older and that serve alcohol. The amendment failed by an 8-6 vote to the chagrin of local business owners.
Some feel that the prohibition infringes on the personal liberties of patrons and businesses alike. E-cigarettes and vaporizers are a new technology that doesn’t have the research pedigree and history of traditional cigarettes. The scientific information regarding the effects of e-cigarettes and vaporizers is lacking. This absence of information for users and bystanders alike serves as a point of contention on both sides.
Opponents of the city council’s decision cite the lack of scientific evidence means a ban is premature. Supporters argue that until there is scientific proof otherwise, e-cigarettes and vaporizers have the potential to be more harmful as well.
For the time being, e-cigarettes and vaporizers alike are on the banned list for L.A.’s nightlife and club scene. Until greater authorities decide on the safety and health risks of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, local governments will take the legislating of e-cigarettes and vaporizers into their own hands as evidenced by the L.A. City Council.