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LA City Council Votes To Ban E-Cigarettes In Public Areas

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday voted to ban e-cigarette use at bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other public areas.

The ordinance was approved during a 14-0 vote and prohibits "vaping" at farmers' markets, parks, recreational areas, beaches, indoor workplaces such as bars and nightclubs, outdoor dining areas and any other location where tobacco smoking is restricted.

LA City Council Bans E-Cigarettes In Public Areas

"What we're doing is taking a very sensible, fair approach to regulation that controls the second-hand aerosol exposure to thousands of employees in the work force, young people," Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell said.

However, just as with cigar and hookah lounges, vaping lounges and stores will be exempt from the ban.

The ordinance will also restrict the sale and use of the devices in smoking clubs to adults 18 and older.

City Attorney Mike Feuer and council members O'Farrell, Paul Koretz, and Bernard Parks proposed the ordinance back in December in response to the surging popularity of the devices, which use battery-powered metal cartridges to simulate the effect of smoking by heating nicotine-containing liquid into vapor.

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"We stand with the independent public health experts who have told us that this approach is the right approach for all us," Feuer said.

While some researchers have found e-cigarettes to be less harmful to smokers' heart function than regular tobacco cigarettes, studies have found the devices to contain benzene, toluene, heavy metals such as nickel and arsenic, and other chemicals in addition to nicotine.

Research has yet to determine the extent to which e-cigarettes may pose a public health threat.

RELATED: City Council Panel Recommends Limits On E-Cigarette Use In Public

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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