Alhambra City Council prohibited Oct. 28 the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, in public areas and work spaces in Alhambra. In a 4-1 vote, Council amended Section 9.18.010 of the Alhambra Municipal Code, which prohibits "tobacco, or any weed or plant" from public spaces and places of employment, to include the metal or plastic smoking devices.
The effort to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in Alhambra started after Alhambra Civic Center Library patrons began using e-cigarettes inside the library, said Alhambra Mayor Steven Placido. While the devices are not classified as tobacco products and not yet regulated by the FDA, Alhambra City Council took a "proactive approach" to limit their use in the city's public areas, Placido said.
"We don't know if e-cigarettes are good or bad," Placido said. "We just want to make everyone safer."
If the FDA decides not to regulate e-cigarettes and studies show that the devices are not harmful to the public, City Council can reverse its ruling, according to the mayor. Placido also noted that residents can still purchase e-cigarettes at any store in Alhambra that carried the item before the Oct. 28 ban.
Many Alhambra Source readers disagreed with Council's decision. In a Nov. 1 poll on the site, 48 out of 75 voters said they did not agree and some argued that council members overreached their authority when they banned a product that has not yet been federally regulated. However, some readers applauded the ban, complaining about the vapors in public areas and restaurants.
Readers voiced their opinions in comments on Facebook and anonymous responses to our poll. Read them below and let us know what you think!