SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Board of Supervisors Tuesday took two actions intended to limit the use of electronic-smoking devices.
The board voted 3-1 to add several types of such devices to its anti-tobacco policy, and ordered staffers to look into outlawing the devices in county areas where traditional cigarettes are banned.
Staffers were given until May 6 to draft a proposal to mirror the county's policy banning conventional cigarettes in county public facilities, workplaces and indoor facilities in unincorporated areas in regards to electronic smoking devices.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, recommended that county policies give electronic smoking devices and conventional cigarettes equal standing.
The board also approved updating the wording in its tobacco use, cessation and prevention policy -- which already covered electronic cigarettes -- to include several similar devices like electronic cigars, cigarillos, pipes and hookah. The policy emphasizes reducing minors' access and limiting exposure to secondhand smoke.
Supervisor Dave Roberts said the devices, some which are decorated with cartoon video game characters, were gaining popularity with county youths. Others are disguised to look like asthma inhalers or soda cans with straws, he said.
"E-cigarettes are likely to be a gateway device for nicotine addiction among children," Roberts said.
Supervisor Bill Horn, who cast the dissenting vote, said the smoking devices were a valid tool for those trying to quit smoking, and were not combustible, did not emit an offensive odor and many had less nicotine than regular cigarettes. Also, he said a law barring minors from accessing the devices should be taken up at the state level.
"I don't think we ought to be telling adults that they can't use these things if they're trying to get off nicotine," Horn said.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob disagreed, saying electronic smoking devices did not lessen tobacco addiction.
"The answer to smoking is stop smoking or don't start in the first place," Jacob said.
Veterans are being honored across San Diego County during Memorial Day weekend and dozens of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were among those spending their Saturday placing American flags at burial sites at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Commencement was held Sunday for seniors at the University of San Diego, with ceremonies featuring a pair of distinguished alumni.
Cool and cloudy conditions start off Friday morning, but the sun will break through in the afternoon. Strong winds in San Diego County's deserts are also expected to ease up Friday morning.
A 30-year-old was knocked out and stabbed three times at the Beyer Trolley Station early Sunday morning, according to Officer Robert Heims of the San Diego Police Department.
A bird was responsible for an outage that left thousands without electricity Sunday, a San Diego Gas & Electric spokesperson said.
The remains of a U.S. Navy pilot killed when his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War have been brought to San Diego for burial.
In the wake of the Gate Fire, which ignited May 20, the Bureau of Land Management has issued new restrictions for Southern California counties, including San Diego.
With thousands of San Diegans expected to celebrate the holiday weekend at the beach, lifeguards are on high alert and a have a few warnings for those headed to the water.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is scheduled to visit local Navy personnel in San Diego and Coronado next week, her office announced Saturday.
A 30-year-old Vista man was arrested for drunk driving and failure to yield Saturday morning after leading Carlsbad police on a high-speed pursuit that ended with the suspect crashing into a pole, according to authorities.