A model demonstrates an electronic cigarette. Credit: Michael Dorausch Wikimedia Commons.
A model demonstrates an electronic cigarette. Credit: Michael Dorausch Wikimedia Commons.

Proposed regulations for vapor inhalers, also known as electronic cigarettes, cleared the committee level to be sent on to the San Diego City Council.

The two ordinances would, if passed by the council, regulate retail sales of the battery-operated e-cigarette devices and restrict their use. The rules would generally conform to restrictions on tobacco products.

“Our goal here is to provide some sensible restrictions on these so that adults are able to utilize these safely in places that are not around kids, and that kids under the age of 18 do not have access to these, and also give our local law enforcement the ability to enforce state law regarding the sale to minors,” Councilman Mark Kersey said at a Wednesday meeting of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee.

Deputy City Attorney Linda Peter said the proposed retailing ordinance would require store owners who sell e-cigarettes to:

  • obtain a police permit;
  • prohibit sales of the devices, vaping juice and other paraphernalia through vending machines, and
  • restrict advertisements or promotions that are visible in public areas.

Deputy City Attorney Ken So told committee members that use of vapor inhalers would be prohibited in the same types of places where people aren’t allowed to smoke, such as restaurants, theaters, sports facilities, parks and beaches.

The devices would be allowed in residences, vehicles, e-cigarette shops and vaping lounges, So said.

Kersey said he didn’t want to prevent people from using the devices, but doesn’t want them to be allowed where other people would be bothered. He added he didn’t want to see the creation of “the next generation of nicotine addicts.”

Proponents of vapor inhalers say the devices have weaned people off smoking cigarettes.

The county of San Diego approved similar restrictions on vapor inhalers last month.

– City News Service

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