LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Los Angeles City Council health committee voted to advance a ban on electronic cigarettes that would put them under the same restrictions as regular cigarettes.
The controversial ban has many people fuming as they debate the health risks of e-cigarettes.
"For anyone to say that e-cigarettes are not harmful, I think they are taking us down the same path that the tobacco industry said in 1954," said City Council member Bernard Parks during a meeting to discuss the ban.
Despite many people's conviction that e-cigarettes are as harmful to health as regular tobacco cigarettes, it could take years to obtain conclusive research on the health effects. John Jenkins, a vapor store owner, says that the e-cigarettes are substantially safer than the real thing, as there is no tobacco inhaled.
"The risks are very inconsequential compared to the gains," Jenkins says.
Councilman Mitch O'Farrell called the ban "a significant step towards a healthier Los Angeles."