The City Council decided Tuesday to treat e-cigarettes just as regular cigarettes in Beverly Hills, subjecting them to the same rules and regulations.
The council also gave the green light for consideration of further restrictions where people can smoke both kinds of cigarettes.
“I’m very passionate about this. I really don’t believe there’s a greater public health issue than smoking,” said Julian Gold, a doctor at the UCLA School of Medicine. “The healthcare costs are just astronomical. I fully support the tying of the e-cigarettes to the regulations of tobacco.”
By treating e-cigarettes like regular tobacco products, they’ll be banned from city parks and recreational facilities and outdoor dining areas and near tot lots and playgrounds, according to a presentation councilmembers heard Tuesday. Vending machines distributing e-cigarettes will also be prohibited.
The new rules will take effect June 1, giving the city time to educate business owners and the public about the changes.
In addition, the City Council decided to consider at a future meeting further restricting the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes, including a possible ban on their use in public plazas, outdoor service lines – such as those at ATMs – farmers markets and outdoor events, such as parades and fairs.
“This is a step to making Beverly Hills one of the healthiest cities in the world,” said Councilwoman Lili Boose. “We need to be the leader on this.”