City Council Considers Adding Electronic Cigarettes To Smoking Ban

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There’s a move in City Council to add electronic cigarettes to the city’s 7-year ban on public smoking.

City Councilman Bill Green says Philly’s 2006 smoking ban — authored by then-Councilman Michael Nutter — already needs to be updated.

“We’re modernizing Mayor Nutter’s smoking ban to include e-cigarettes.”

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that look like regular cigarettes and simulate smoking.   Green says they need to be added to the ban.

“We would hate to see restaurants and bars and museums and other places where smoking has been banned smoking eCigs, and putting that vapor out there.”

Green is also concerned about the potential health effects of the vapor generated by eCigs.

“It is completely unknown. The FDA has not studied the impact of the content of the vapor of these cigarettes. But there’s also the general atmosphere that we want to maintain that we have in our public places.”

Green’s measure will be debated in committee this spring. Green himself may not be around to see it become law. He is awaiting state senate confirmation to become chairman of the School Reform Commissioner, and would resign from Council if approved.

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