Electronic cigarettes given the red light in Vista - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Electronic cigarettes given the red light in Vista

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VISTA (CBS 8) - Vista city officials have approved a ban on electronic cigarettes in certain enclosed public spaces, including work places, bars, and restaurants.

Tuesday night's meeting was held to decide, among other items, whether to ban electronic cigarettes in public locations where normal cigarettes are off limits.

The vote does not affect local outdoor environments such as city parks where cigarette use has already been banned. E-cigarettes are still permitted in those areas.

Critics of the ban say there's no danger of secondhand smoke with e-cigarettes and no smell.

Proponents of the ban say e-cigarettes are not proven to be safe and, either way, they lure children and teenagers into taking up smoking.

Electronic cigarettes, which have seen a surge in popularity over the last year, have become increasingly popular among minors, according to some local tobacco experts.

"We're getting messages from schools that middle schoolers and high schoolers are using them," said Gena Knutson with Vista Community Clinic, a local non-profit. "We don't want youth to use them as a gateway to other tobacco products."

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