Austin Bans E-Cigarette Use In Public Areas

AUSTIN (AP) – Officials in the Texas capital have banned the use of electronic cigarettes in public areas.

The Austin City Council voted unanimously Thursday to add e-cigarettes to the list of tobacco products banned in public areas such as parks, restaurants and bars. The ban takes effect July 3.

Groups that include the American Cancer Society and the Food and Drug Administration have warned about the risks of nicotine and other chemicals found in e-cigarettes. But vaping advocates point to European studies that indicate that e-cigarettes are relatively low-risk when compared to smoking.

Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control say electronic and regular cigarette use has declined among students from 2015-2016.

Other Texas counties and cities have included e-cigarettes in their smoking bans.

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