“We are now faced with the rampant growth and use of e-cigarettes,” Madrid wrote in an introduction to a report for the Jan. 28 council session. “The same initial claims made by the tobacco industry as being `harmless’ are now being made by this industry.”
E-cigarettes are battery-powered, largely unregulated devices that simulate tobacco smoking without the tobacco, but they nonetheless deliver nicotine and other additives via aerosol to the smoker. Benefits and risks are uncertain, and attempts to regulate their use has sparked controversy.
The North County cities of Carlsbad and Vista last year banned e-cigarettes from indoor restaurants and other public places, but no local city has banned sales of the increasingly popular vice.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the percentage of middle and high school students who use electronic cigarettes more than doubled to 10 percent from 2011 to 2012. Altogether, more than 1.78 million middle and high school students had tried e-cigarettes in 2012.
“The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling, CDC Director Tom Frieden said when the study was released in September. “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.”
The council meets at 6 p.m. at City Hall.