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Bill would restrict e-cigarette use, sales in city

The Baltimore City Council will consider whether electronic smoking devices should be governed by the same restrictions that apply to the use and sale of tobacco products.

Councilman James B. Kraft  introduced a bill Monday that would extend the laws that regulate the distribution of tobacco and that prohibit smoking in certain public places. Under the bill, those laws would also apply to electronic or battery-operated smoking devices, such as e-cigarettes, which produce vapors that users inhale.

The vapors usually contain nicotine and, sometimes, flavoring.

A similar bill died in a General Assembly committee earlier this year. Under current state law, “vaping” is allowed in public indoor places, although sales to minors are prohibited.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week released a proposal to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The proposal does not prohibit using flavored vapors in those products, nor does it limit advertising strategies, which disappointed some public health advocates who say the products target children.