Should electronic cigarette retailers, lounges, and vapor bars be permanently banned within city limits?
On February 11, 2014, the Fremont City Council adopted an urgency ordinance establishing a temporary ban on electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) retailers, lounges, and vapor bars. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that may resemble smoking a cigarette which allow the user to inhale vapor without producing fire, smoke, ash or carbon monoxide. They are often designed to resemble traditional cigarettes and the liquids vaporized by the e-cigarette may contain nicotine, other chemicals, and flavoring, but do not contain tobacco.
E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in the last year or so, especially with younger people, and come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors, such as bubble gum or chocolate. The City of Fremont has eight retail establishments that sell e-cigarettes and include e-cigarette lounges and vapor bars. Four of these establishments were opened in the last eight months.
Currently, e-cigarettes and the liquids vaporized by the cigarettes are only minimally regulated by state law and the health risks of inhaling the vapors are unknown. The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement warning of health risks posed by e-cigarettes, specifically:
- Safety of the products and how it’s marketed to the public;
- Its increase in nicotine addiction among young people, and gateway use to other tobacco products known to cause disease and premature death;
- Likelihood of containing ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans; and
- Lack of clinical studies submitted to the FDA regarding the safety and efficacy of these products for their intended use.
The link to the staff report including the ordinance establishing a temporary ban on e-cigarettes can be found here. Please let us know what you think about permanently banning e-cigarette retailers, lounges, and vapor bars within city limits by clicking on Post below.