American Lung Association in California Applauds the City of Los Angeles for Passing E-Cigarette Regulation

Official Statement of the American Lung Association in California

Los Angeles, CA (March 11, 2014)

The American Lung Association in California applauds the City of Los Angeles for regulating electronic smoking devices where smoking is prohibited by law. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law yesterday, March 10, the ordinance overwhelmingly approved by the City Council last week. The new law will help protect Los Angeles residents from the secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes.

Specifically, the new law will end the use of e-cigarettes in bars, restaurants, and other public places in Los Angeles where smoking is prohibited. This follows the city's move last December to require all e-cigarette retailers to get a license to sell the products. E-cigarettes are currently untested and unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new law will go into effect on April 19, 2014.

“The City of Los Angeles took an important stand for the health and safety of Los Angeles’ children, families and residents,” said Kimberly Amazeen, Vice President, Programs & Advocacy, American Lung Association in California. “The Lung Association commends Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti and the City Council for deciding to stand up to protect everyone’s right to breathe clean, healthy air in workplaces and public places. This law will help reduce the cycle of addiction to harmful tobacco products, prevent a lifetime of addiction and ultimately save lives.”

With this action, Los Angeles becomes the third major city in the country to adopt e-cigarette regulations, following Chicago and New York City. In California, 52 communities have already passed ordinances that include e-cigarettes in their smoking laws, including the cities of Long Beach and Beverly Hills who passed ordinances last week.

“We remain very concerned about the potential safety and health consequences of e-cigarettes, as well as claims that they can be used to help smokers quit. We continue to urge the Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarettes as there is no way for the public health, medical community or consumers to know what chemicals are contained in e-cigarettes or what the short and long term health implications might be,” said Amazeen.

There are seven FDA-approved medications proven to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit; e-cigarettes are not one of them. When smokers are ready to quit, they should call the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or talk with their doctors about quitting.