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Kash Cheong
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Singapore

HPB considers upping minimum cigarette purchase age from 18 to 21

The Straits Times | Kash Cheong | Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It said on Tuesday that it is also monitoring Australia's efforts impose plain packaging for cigarettes, among other measures to reduce the number of smokers here.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

This article was first published on May 5, 2014:

Los Angeles moves to ban e-cigarettes, joining NY, others

By Reuters

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as "vaping," from restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other public spaces in the nation's second-largest city.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed to Reuters that he would sign the measure into law in the coming days.

When he does, Los Angeles will join a growing list of cities, including New York, Boston and Chicago, that restrict the use of e-cigarettes, which are battery-powered cartridges filled with liquid nicotine that creates an inhalable vapour when heated.

At stake is the future of an industry that some analysts believe will eventually overtake the $80 billion-a-year tobacco business.

Public health experts fear that vaping, which has recently gained popularity among teens and young adults, may serve as a gateway to smoking for the uninitiated.

Critics also point to potential harm posed from second-hand vapour from e-cigarettes, saying too little is known about the effects of the chemicals contained in the cartridges.

"We have an obligation to protect the workforce from the effects of secondhand aerosol exhaled by people who choose to 'vape' on e-cigarettes," said City Council member Mitch O'Farrell, who co-sponsored the proposal.

"We also have a responsibility to protect our youth and everyone else in public places from the carcinogens found in the ultra-fine particles in e-cigarette aerosol," he said.

The proposal was opposed by the makers of e-cigarettes, who pitch their product as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes and say there is no evidence that second-hand vape smoke is harmful. Advocates of e-cigarettes also say they can help smokers kick the habit.

FDA MAY WEIGH IN

The Los Angeles ban differs from restrictions in other major cities in that it was amended to allow vaping in lounges and e-cigarette stores and for filming or theatrical purposes.

"Although we believe the final decision was made in the absence of credible science, it was a more reasonable and sensible approach than the original proposal," NJOY, the largest independent maker of e-cigarettes, said in a written statement.

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