NPR : News

Filed Under:

Cities Take The Lead In Regulating Electronic Cigarettes

Count Los Angeles as the latest big city to say no to electronic cigarettes.

The City Council there voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban use of the devices, which release vaporized nicotine, in almost all public places, including bars, workplaces and beaches.

If the mayor signs the ordinance, L.A. will follow New York and Chicago in restricting use of e-cigs, much as they do old-fashioned, smoke-producing cigarettes. San Francisco is considering a ban, too.

The Food and Drug Administration is working on proposed regulations on e-cigarettes, but is hampered by the fact that there's very little data on whether inhaling nicotine vapor is hazardous to health, to the vaper or to people nearby. As the FDA's website notes:

Additionally, it is not known if e-cigarettes may lead young people to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.

That lack of data is fueling efforts by proponents of vaping, including cigarette manufacturers, to push back against restrictions on advertising, sale and use of e-cigarettes.

But tobacco control advocates say they've seen it all before.

"I feel like I'm in a time machine," Dr. Stanton Glantz, director of the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, told the San Francisco Chronicle Monday, when that city's proposed ban was unveiled.

"I was here and participating in 1983 when San Francisco passed a smoking law," Glantz says, "and it was the same arguments - that it would destroy freedom, that it would destroy America, that it would ruin everything. That there was no evidence secondhand smoke is dangerous. It was not true when we were talking about secondhand smoke in 1983, and it's not true when we are talking about e-cigarettes now."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


High Glamour Infuses A Forbidden Love Affair In 'Carol'

Todd Haynes' new film chronicles a lesbian affair between a middle-aged married woman and a young store clerk. Critic David Edelstein says Carol captures the thrill of a once-forbidden subculture.

Some Ancient Farmers Grew Fava Beans Before They Grew Grains

The fava bean is a key staple in much of the world. Researchers say they've found fava beans in the Galilee region of Israel dating over 10,000 years ago — before grains had been domesticated there.

Caught Between A Turkey Leg And A Political Diatribe? We're Here To Help

Nobody wants a side of politics on his or her Thanksgiving table, but it's probably going to happen. Here's some advice to get you through — you may need to buy a duck quacker, though.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.