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NYC expands smoking ban to include e-cigarettes

– With smokers exiled years ago to New York City’s sidewalks, some took up e-cigarettes as a way to come in from the cold. They could puff away in restaurants and offices without running afoul of the city’s ban on smoking in indoor public places.

Now they’re down to the last few puffs since the City Council voted Thursday to expand the ban to e-cigarettes. Once signed by the mayor, the ban would take effect in four months.

The tobacco-free smokes heat a chemical, release vapors, and give smokers a nicotine fix. The Food and Drug Administration has said it intends to regulate e-cigarettes, but has yet to issue any rules.

Several states, including New Jersey, Arkansas, Utah and North Dakota, have already expanded their indoor smoking bans to include e-cigarettes.