Union City becomes state’s first city to ban vapor lounges, restrict e-cigs

Union City has banned vapor lounges, and now Hayward might do the same. Vapor lounges have opened in Fremont, where there is no policy at this time. Here’s a recent story about the Tri-City area:

A growing number of East Bay cities are taking steps to restrict electronic cigarettes, and Union City has led the charge, becoming the state’s first municipality to ban vapor lounges and other businesses where e-cigarettes are used.

The City Council approved the new regulation earlier this month after a Union City Youth Commission report expressed concern that e-cigarettes might lead to an increase in nicotine addiction. The commission, comprised of 16 New Haven Unified students in grades 7 to 12, also asserted that fast-growing e-cigarette products are being marketed to minors.

“The kids wanted us to regulate them because they were being sold and packaged in less expensive ways that let kids get their hands on them,” Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci said. “We are trying to promote healthy lifestyles in Union City and the new ordinance helps with that.”

The new law, effective Jan. 9, also bans medical marijuana dispensaries in Union City.

Other cities are following suit. Earlier this month, Richmond restricted the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces, and Hayward council members are scheduled next month to consider similar regulations.

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Chris DeBenedetti

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