NYC public ban of e-cigarettes goes into effect

Starting today, e-cigarettes are not allowed to be smoked in public places, including beaches, parks and restaurants. (4/29/14)

THE BRONX - A public ban has gone into effect citywide for electronic cigarettes.

It's now illegal to smoke e-cigarettes in public places, similar to the ban on real cigarettes that went into effect in 2002. Places where e-cigarettes are banned now include bars, restaurants, beaches and parks.

Diego Ostolaza, who owns an e-cigarette store that opened earlier this year, is against the ban. He thinks tobacco companies pushed the city into passing the law, as tobacco companies are losing money to e-cigarettes. Ostolaza and others against the ban say some kinds of e-cigarettes are made to help smokers quit and aren't a health threat.

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Those who passed the ban say e-cigarettes are marketed to teens, pointing out that some come in different candy-like flavors.

The city's Department of Health has a grace period on the ban until Aug. 1, but after that, the department proposed a rule to set the penalty at $1,000.

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