A Los Angeles City Council committee on Monday voted to advance a controversial ban on “vaping” in areas of the city where tobacco smoking is banned.
Dozens of people on both sides of Los Angeles’ potential ban attended the meeting of the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River Committee’s discussion of a proposed stricter ban on e-cigarettes in public.
“This is something that will ensure public safety for people who don’t necessarily want to be around vapors from e-cigarettes,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, one of the authors of a motion to create a city ordinance banning vaping.
O’Farrell called the committee’s approval of the motion a “significant step toward a healthier Los Angeles.”
Those in favor of public bans said more studies were needed to understand the potential dangers of e-cigarette use, especially with regard to second-hand smoke. But they warned that it could take years for that research to be completed, and said action was needed in the meantime.
E-cigarette industry leaders said banning their product may lead smokers to return to tobacco cigarettes, which are already known to be dangerous.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the full City Council was weighing a proposed ban on Monday. The post has been updated to reflect the matter is before a committee.