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E-Cigarette Smoking Ban Proposed

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SACRAMENTO-

San Francisco State Senator Mark Leno has introduced a bill that would ban the use of electronic cigarettes in places where traditional cigarettes are also banned.

The bill is puzzling to those who frequent the Vapor Parlor on Franklin Boulevard, who believe e-cigs are a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco.

Vincent Ha never started smoking tobacco, but he's been vaporizing it for a year and half and hangs out at the the Vapor Parlor where vape juices and e-cigarette devices are sold and used.

"It's a new fad. People want to use them because it's cool or actually helps them stay off the cigarettes," said Ha.

Parlor employee Fred Payuyao acknowledges that some of flavored juices from which the vapors are produced contain various amounts of nicotine, but he says those products are used to help people kick a traditional cigarette habit.

"Customers who have been in here have been advised by their doctors saying this is a way healthier alternative," said Payuyao.

But the primary sponsors of the Leno bill are health advocates.

"Initial studies have shown that these products do contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals that are really bad for your health," said Lindsey Freitas, who handles tobacco issues for the American Lung Association of California.

But Ha says more studies and scientific evidence needs to be presented before anyone should ban e-cigarettes.

Tobbaco companies are beginning to market e-cigarettes. Last year two bills regulating e-cigarettes never went far enough to get floor votes.

Freitas says over 160 communities have already passed laws regulating e-cigarettes which may put added pressure for legislation at the state level.