A window display with different electronic cigarettes is seen in a shop. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as “vaping,” from restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other public spaces in the nation’s second largest city.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed to Reuters that he would sign the measure into law in the coming days.



When he does, Los Angeles will join a growing list of cities, including New York, Boston and Chicago, that restrict the use of e cigarettes, which are battery powered cartridges filled with liquid nicotine that creates an inhalable vapor when heated.

At stake is the future of an industry that some analysts believe will eventually overtake the $80 billion a year tobacco business.

Public health experts fear that vaping, which has recently gained popularity among teens and young adults, may serve as a gateway to smoking for the uninitiated.

Critics also point to potential harm posed from second hand vapor from e cigarettes, saying too little is known about the effects of the chemicals contained in the cartridges.

“We have an obligation to protect the workforce from the effects of secondhand aerosol exhaled by people who choose to ‘vape’ on e cigarettes,” said City Council member Mitch O’Farrell, who co sponsored the proposal.

“We also have a responsibility to protect our youth and everyone else in public places from the carcinogens found in the ultra fine particles in e cigarette aerosol,” he said.

The proposal was opposed by the makers of e cigarettes, who pitch their product as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes and say there is no evidence that second hand vape smoke is harmful. Advocates of e cigarettes also say they can help smokers kick the habit.


The Los Angeles ban differs from restrictions in other major cities in that it was amended to allow vaping in lounges and e cigarette stores and for filming or theatrical purposes.

“Although we believe the final decision was made in the absence of credible science, it was a more reasonable and sensible approach than the original proposal,” NJOY, the largest independent maker of e cigarettes, said in a written statement.

“NJOY remains concerned, however, that banning e cigarette use in public places could deter current tobacco smokers from using the products and thus disserves public health,” the company said.

The City Council action comes as the U.S. government is contemplating further regulations at the national level.

The Food and Drug Administration has already proposed a rule that would bring e cigarettes under its jurisdiction and could potentially require companies to register and pay fees, list the ingredients in their products, obtain approval for new products and restrict online sales and marketing to children.

A law passed in 2009 gave the FDA the authority to regulate cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll your own tobacco.

It also gave the agency the power to deem other tobacco products to be within its jurisdiction, but it must first issue a rule to that effect.

E cigarette companies believe they should be exempt from the full spectrum of regulations, saying that would stifle innovation, damage small business and hurt consumers trying to quit smoking.

Tobacco company Lorillard Inc, the owner of the blu e cigarette brand, is the dominant player in the field, followed by privately held NJOY and LOGIC Technology. The three account for an estimated 80 percent of the market.

Cvs caremark to stop selling tobacco at all cvs/pharmacy locations

More brand cigarettes carton

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ CVS Caremark (NYSE CVS) announced today that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores across the U.S. by October 1, 2014, making CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well being of its patients and customers.

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“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

Merlo continued, “As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care through our pharmacists and nurse practitioners. The significant action we’re taking today by removing tobacco products from our retail shelves further distinguishes us in how we are serving our patients, clients and health care providers and better positions us for continued growth in the evolving health care marketplace.”

Smoking is the leading cause of premature disease and death in the United States with more than 480,000 deaths annually. While the prevalence of cigarette smoking has decreased from approximately 42 percent of adults in 1965 to 18 percent today, the rate of reduction in smoking prevalence has stalled in the past decade. More interventions, such as reducing the availability of cigarettes, are needed.

“CVS Caremark is continually looking for ways to promote health and reduce the burden of disease,” said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H. “Stopping the sale of cigarettes and tobacco will make a significant difference in reducing the chronic illnesses associated with tobacco use.”

In a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Viewpoint published online this morning, Brennan and co author Steven A. Schroeder, Director, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California, San Francisco, wrote, “The paradox of cigarette sales in pharmacies has become even more relevant recently, in large part because of changes in the pharmacy industryMost pharmacy chains are retooling themselves as an integral part of the health care system. They are offering more counseling by pharmacists, an array of wellness products and outreach to clinicians and health care more important, pharmacies are moving into the treatment arena, with the advent of retail health clinics. These retail clinics, originally designed to address common acute infections, are gearing up to work with primary care clinicians to assist in treating hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes all conditions exacerbated by smoking.”

CVS Caremark’s decision to stop selling tobacco products is consistent with the positions taken by the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and American Pharmacists Association that have all publicly opposed tobacco sales in retail outlets with pharmacies.

“As a leader of the health care community focused on improving health outcomes, we are pledging to help millions of Americans quit smoking,” said Merlo. “In addition to removing cigarettes and tobacco products for sale, we will undertake a robust national smoking cessation program.”

The program, to be launched this Spring, is expected to include information and treatment on smoking cessation at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic along with online resources. The program will be available broadly across all CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations and will offer additional comprehensive programs for CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management plan members to help them to quit smoking. Approximately seven in ten smokers say they want to quit and about half attempt to quit each year.

“Every day, all across the country, customers and patients place their trust in our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners to serve their health care needs,” commented Helena B. Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy. “Removing tobacco products from our stores is an important step in helping Americans to quit smoking and get healthy.”

The decision to exit the tobacco category does not affect the company’s 2014 segment operating profit guidance, 2014 EPS guidance, or the company’s five year financial projections provided at its December 18th Analyst company estimates that it will lose approximately $2 billion in revenues on an annual basis from the tobacco shopper, equating to approximately 17 cents per share. Given the anticipated timing for implementation of this change, the impact to 2014 earnings per share is expected to be in the range of 6 to 9 cents per share. The company has identified incremental opportunities that are expected to offset the profitability impact. This decision more closely aligns the company with its patients, clients and health care providers to improve health outcomes while controlling costs and positions the company for continued growth.

About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company’s more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 800 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. For these statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company strongly recommends that you become familiar with the specific risks and uncertainties outlined in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including those in the Risk Factors section in our Annual Report on Form10 K for the year ended December31, 2012 and under the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward Looking Statements” in our most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form10 Q.