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SAN FRANCISCO -- While it is becoming increasingly difficult to find places where you can legally smoke a cigarette, many smokers have been turning to electronic cigarettes, which do not fall under no-smoking rules. However, San Francisco officials are looking to change that, much to the chagrin of the electronic cigarette community, according to the local ABD affiliate KGO-TV.
A similar ban has already been enacted at SFO, San Francisco's International Airport, and now city lawmakers are taking the first steps in the same direction. The plan on the table is to include electronic cigarettes into the current smoking ordinance, saying that anything that looks, feels or functions like a cigarette is a cigarette and has to be banned from public places.
Dr. Tomas Aragon, the city's health officer, said e-cigarettes are just another nicotine delivery system and send a message to youth that some smoking is OK, the news outlet reported. "The big concern is the ability for people to become addicted to nicotine and also to be smoking in an environment where smoking is not permitted," Aragon said.
However, the electronic cigarette industry disagrees with the proposed ban. According to KGO-TV, the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association called a ban ignorant, and explained that the cigarettes are not dangerous or unhealthy and are much better than smoking regular cigarettes.
"To have a product and ban a product you have to show cause, you have to show at one point in time that this product has harmed someone," group spokesperson Ray Story said.