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NEW YORK — The New York City Council has voted to ban electronic cigarettes in such public venues as bars, restaurants, beaches, parks and office buildings, according to published reports.
The council's 43-8 vote means e-cigarettes will be subject to the same strict laws as their traditional, tobacco-based counterparts. The use of e-cigarettes, known as "vaping," has been touted as a safer alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that mimic the look and feel of tobacco cigarettes by vaporizing nicotine-infused liquid, which is often flavored.
At a press conference, council member Christine Quinn said that despite their promotion as healthier, they created the risk that they would "renormalize smoking in public places."
New York has some of the toughest anti-tobacco laws in the country and recently raised the age for buying tobacco to 21, making it the first major city to do so. Other jurisdictions — such as New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota — have banned e-cigarettes in places that prohibit smoking.