Tacoma-Pierce County may ban electronic cigarettes

May 5, 2011

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is considering a ban on battery-powered electronic cigarettes that deliver nicotine without smoking.

The News Tribune reports that regulations proposed Wednesday would ban e-smoking - or "vaping" - in the same public places where the use of real cigarettes and cigars are prohibited by state law. As KPLU's Keith Seinfeld has reported, King County adopted such a ban earlier this year.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver varying amounts of nicotine. You draw on them as you would a tobacco cigarette; as you inhale, an atomizing liquid comes out as a vapor. They can be purchased in single-use or rechargeable versions, come in different sizes and colors and use a nicotine-infused liquid – or e-juice – which has flavors such as Turkish tobacco, menthol, French vanilla, caramel macchiato, peanut butter cup, cheesecake, fruit stripe and gummi bear.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Board will consider the ban at its June 1 meeting.