California Bay Area City Excludes E-cigs from Smoking Ban but Some Disagree


In San Rafael, California the city approved a new smoking ban on October 1. The ban goes as far as prohibiting smoking on downtown sidewalks, local parks and even in apartments in an effort to protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

You might be surprised to find that while electronic cigarettes pose no similar risks as they don’t emit secondhand smoke, an advocacy manager for the American Lung Association, Pam Granger, says she believes that e-cigs should have been included in the ban.

A local resident informed the city council that he believes local government should control “where this new-fangled piece of trickery should be sold.”

For now, city staff felt that because the fire hazard was low and there was no worry of secondhand smoke, they’ve sided with electronic cigarette users, at least for now.

Why would Granger or other reps for the American Lung Association feel that should be lumped in with traditional tobacco cigarettes that contain hundreds of potentially dangerous chemical compounds?

Granger says it’s a product that wants to “keep people smoking” and could send “mixed messages” to kids.

The truth is, there are many people who wouldn’t have been able to give up their regular cigarettes were it not for the option to switch to e-cigs.

The argument that it might influence children is somewhat ridiculous considering the number of things on this planet that could potentially negatively influence them. Constant violence on television and in the movies, their own parents imbibing in far too much alcohol, just to name a few – does that mean that everything that could possibly influence a child to do something they probably shouldn’t should be banned?

E-cigs have allowed a number of people that had been smoking for decades to finally quit their tobacco habit.

Unfortunately, with the American Lung Association and similar organizations receiving funding from pharmaceutical manufacturers it seems it’s in their financial interest to try and convince tobacco smokers to quit by using their own products – products that are often ineffective and have a number of side effects, rather than to do the right thing.

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