The Beverly Hills City Council has joined its Los Angeles counterpart in voting to treat electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and to regulate their sale and use.
"Smoking of any kind should be discouraged, especially for teenagers," Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch said in a statement. "By taking these steps, the city is sending a strong message to the community that we take the health of our citizens very seriously."
Calling them a potential health risk and a gateway to tobacco, the Los Angeles City Council voted in December to regulate the sales of e-cigarettes and other "vaping" devices.
Under the new regulations, subject to a second vote in March, Beverly Hills would amend its municipal code to restrict the smoking of e-cigarettes in locations where tobacco smoking is limited, such as enclosed workplaces, open-air dining areas and city buildings. In addition, it would become illegal to sell e-cigarettes from vending machines.
Landlords would also be able to restrict or prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in their buildings.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that contain liquid cartridges of flavored nicotine and are used in the same way as cigarettes or cigars. State laws regulate the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed its intent to regulate e-cigarettes similarly to tobacco products.