Philadelphia bans sale of e-cigs to minors

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Two bills governing the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigs have been signed into law in Philadelphia. 

The city’s ban on sales of e-cigs to minors takes effect immediately. And, beginning July 1, electronic cigarettes will be treated the same as traditional ones, which means no indoor smoking except for places that already have exemptions. 

The regulations are important in protecting the public health, said city Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz.

“We in Philadelphia have not said you may not use e-cigarettes, we have said there are limits on use,” he said. “Young people under the age of 18 should not be using, but If you want to use as an adult, you may use but you just can’t use in places where people are likely to be exposed to the vapor.”

Gregory Conley of the National Vapers Club said his group doesn’t like the change.

“We are for banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, but against deceiving smokers that e-cigarette use is the same as smoking,” Conley said Wednesday. “We believe it is up to the individual business to decide whether or not a product that has never been shown to cause harm can be used in their establishment.”

Conley, an attorney, said he’s contemplating a court challenge.

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