The Anaheim City Council has adopted a ban on smoking electronic cigarettes (known as “vaping”) within 25 feet of city-owned buildings – essentially, extending the city’s existing smoking ban to include the new-fangled cigs. The council also took the occasion to increase the fines for violating the ban on smoking in or near city-owned buildings:

First offense: from $50 to $100

Second offense: from $150 to $200

The fine for subsequent violations remains $500 per.

The cited reason for the ban is “the smoking of tobacco, or any other weed, plant or substance is a positive danger to health and a material annoyance, inconvenience, discomfort and a possible health hazard to those who are present in confined spaces, and in order to serve public health, safety and welfare, the declared purpose of this chapter is to prohibit the smoking of tobacco, or any other weed, plant or substance in public places and places of employment as stated and required in this chapter.”

“The City Council further finds that prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes in locations where smoking is prohibited at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim Stadium, the Honda Center, and other City-owned buildings will protect the health of the citizens of the City of Anaheim, facilitate enforcement of the smoking prohibition of this chapter, and protect youth from observing behaviors that could encourage them to smoke tobacco products.”

I get the purpose of this ordinance: bringing a new form of smoking within the city’s long-standing ban on smoking in/near city-owned buildings. At the same time, I am not a big fan of nanny-ish bans like this or garage sale ordinances. Furthermore, the public health and concern for the youth concerns cited here can serve as pretexts for expanding the reach of this ban further into the private sphere.