Iowa City includes e-cigarettes in public smoking ban

IOWA CITY (AP) ? Those places where smoking is banned in Iowa City are now off limits to e-cigarettes, too.

The Press-Citizen reports that an Iowa City Council vote on Wednesday means electronic cigarette smokers are now bound by the same restrictions as those who use traditional tobacco.

The council voted 6-0 to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in places where it is already illegal to smoke tobacco under the 2008 Iowa Smokefree Air Act and the city code.

Proponents of the devices, which heat liquid and nicotine into flavored, smokeless vapor, argued at an earlier city council meeting that e-cigarette vapor is mostly safe for bystanders.

But a county health official told the council Wednesday that research indicates the vapor from e-cigarettes is, in some ways, as harmful as smoke.