E-cigarettes banned in California town over health concerns

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E-cigarettes are smoke-free electronic products that turn nicotine and other chemicals into vapor inhaled by the user.

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SEAL BEACH, CA – Electronic cigarettes are a booming business with many smokers use them to kick the habit. But, there are still questions about how safe they are. those questions are causing one orange county city to temporarily ban them.

Seal Beach lawmakers are putting a temporary halt on any new business interested in selling the popular e-cigarettes. At a city council meeting they unanimously agreed to a 45 day moratorium, so officials can study the impact of the growing trend.

“It’s a new type of development the city had no laws on the books concerning this type of use so therefore they wanted some time to study it.” said city attorney Quinn Barrow.

The ordinance will not impact stores currently selling e-cigarettes. The new ban is putting a wrench in the business plan for owners of E-Volution. The store is a proposed high end e-cigarette outlet in Seal Beach.

Towers and her partner argue the liquid nicotine inhaled like vapor through electronic cigarettes is not as toxic as traditional cigarettes.

“We’ve seen great success in lifelong smokers who have switched to this, we feel it’s an emerging trend with no sign of slowing down and we want to be part of it.” said Victoria Towers of E-Volution.

But there is growing concern from state and federal officials on the health impact of e-cigarettes. The FDA is considering banning on-line sales and the state is considering tougher restrictions on the product as well. That’s why seal beach officials say lawmakers here are taking precautions since the long term affects remain unknown.

“What they’re going to do next is take a look at other cities and how they’re dealing with that issue.” said city attorney Quinn Barrow.

Seal Beach is the first city in Orange County to pass this type of moratorium. The next city council meeting is slated for September 23rd and lawmakers could decide to lift the ban, extend it, or make it permanent.

By: Sandra Endo

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