NEW YORK - The City Council met today to discuss a ban on smoking e-cigarettes in public.

The council's health committee held a public hearing on a proposal to keep the battery powered cigarettes out of restaurants and bars, and away from beaches and parks.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member James Gennara says that allowing e-cigarettes in places where regular cigarettes are banned threatens effective enforcement because the electronic versions look so much like the regular ones.

The idea already has the support of the chief financial officer of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association who says e-cigarettes should be treated the same as their tobacco counterparts.

E-cigarettes have a vaporized liquid nicotine inside that user's inhale instead of tobacco smoke.