E-cigarettes don't fall under Arizona's no-smoking law

TEMPE, AZ - Cities across the country are starting to ban e-cigarette use in public.

Places like Boston, New York City and Los Angeles restrict their use.

And now Tempe joins that list.

Arizona voters outlawed smoking in public places a few years ago.

Now people are really fired up over where you can and can't use e-cigarettes.

They don't emit secondhand smoke, but there are still a lot of questions out there.

E-cigarettes are popping up everywhere -- from restaurants to city streets.

“I have asthma, a lot of people have asthma. Just any little smell will set it off,” said Brenda Romero, a non-smoker.  

But they don’t bother everyone.

“Whatever you breathe in the air from pollution has got to be 10 times worse,” said Kayle Kartchner.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said the state's smoke-free ban doesn't apply to e-cigarettes, which means you could find people using them in places like bars and restaurants and even museums.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said it's too early to tell what kind of health risks e-cigarettes pose.

“But it's clearly less harmful than an actual cigarette or cigar or pipe or any lit tobacco,” said Will Humble, director of Arizona Department of Health Services.

Humble said there is nicotine vapor in e-cigarettes, but they are not a tobacco product.

“Are e-cigarettes the kind of indoor contaminant that leads to a compelling reason to regulate it from a public health perspective? I don't really think so,” Humble said.

Tempe just restricted the use of e-cigarettes. They're now only allowed where regular cigarettes can be smoked.

Some smokers say it's unfair.

“Until they find hard evidence that they harm anyone else, why should they ban them?” Kartchner said.

But non-smokers we talked to were happy with the ban saying e-cigarettes should be treated the same as cigarettes.

“You're holding it to your mouth, and there's still some kind of film or smoke or whatever coming out,” Romero said.

We're told Tempe is the first city in the state to restrict e-cigarettes in public places.

That ban will go into effect in 30 days.         

Right now the FDA is taking a look at making some new recommendations when it comes to the use of e-cigarettes.

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