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Seal Beach Puts Clamps on E-Cigarette Vendors

Seal Beach officials say the urgency ordinance is "a precautionary measure" to give city staff more time to research the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes.

Supporters say electronic cigarettes are healthy alternatives to traditional cigarettes. (Photo credit Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime)
Supporters say electronic cigarettes are healthy alternatives to traditional cigarettes. (Photo credit Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime)
The Seal Beach City Council put the clamps on electronic cigarettes Monday by approving a moratorium to temporarily halt the opening of new electronic cigarette shops in the city.

At its Monday night meeting, the City Council voted to approve an urgency ordinance to stop the approval of new business licenses to e-cigarette retailers, drug paraphernalia retailers and smoke shops for at least the next 45 days. Jim Basham, the city's community development director, said the ordinance was prompted by an increase in e-cigarette inquiries by potential business owners and was needed to give staff more time to research the e-cigarette business.

The vote makes Seal Beach the first city in Orange County to place restrictions on e-cigarette shops.

"It’s a precautionary measure," Basham said. "It will afford staff more time to research the new and growing trend of electronic cigarettes..There are a lot of pros and cons."

E-cigarettes are battery operated devices, filled with liquid nicotine as an alternative to tobacco which create a vapor inhaler. Supporters say e-cigarettes are a healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Vicky Towers, who was working on opening eVolution -- a new e-cigarette business in Seal Beach with partner Billy DePalma-- said their shop would strictly focus on selling higher end, rechargeable, non-disposable e-cigarettes to people over the age of 18.

"Our real goal is to provide a bridge to help people stop smoking," Towers told the City Council. "We want to partner with the city and assist in creating reasonable guidelines to govern our type of business so it will be operate responsibly."

"We plan to operate our small business with the class and respect Seal Beach deserves and commands," DePalma added.

Seal Beach already has nine retailers selling e-cigarettes, but city officials said there are currently no laws on the books related to governing e-cigarette shops.

Mayor Gary Miller said he supported the urgency ordinance because surrounding communities and legislators have also raised questions about e-cigarettes.

"I think it's a good idea to give staff more time to research and come back to us with knowledgeable information about the business of electronic cigarettes," Miller said.

In February Senate Bill (SB) 648 was introduced to extend the restrictions on the smoking of tobacco products to e-cigarettes. The bill is currently awaiting a green light from the state Assembly.

A public hearing will be held on Sept. 23 for the Seal Beach City Council to decide whether to extend the ban on e-cigarette vendors for an additional 10 months and 15 days.

What do you think about e-cigarette shops in Seal Beach? Tell us in the comments.

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Dawn September 11, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Disposable Electronic Cigar With the look and feel of a real cigar, this electronic cigar will give you a smoke-free way to enjoy a cigar. It lasts for approximately 1800-2000 puffs. Available in Dominican Republic Tobacco flavor, and comes in a High (24mg) strength. LED on tip lights up when you puff. For those times when you'd like to enjoy a cigar, but smoking isn't allowed Puff on the disposable electronic cigar when you want the taste and satisfaction of a cigar but don't want to offend or when cigar smoking is not allowed. It produces no flame, no smoke, no tar. When you wish to smoke, simply inhale to activate the electronic technology that will vaporize the liquid inside the electronic cigar. This also activates the red LED tip so you know it is working. This e-cigar lasts for approximately 1800-2000 puffs. Use it as much or as little as you wish, then set it aside for your next use. The flavor is best when consumed within two weeks of opening. When no more vapor is released from the cigar, simply dispose of the cigar. Active Ingredient: Nicotine 24 mg/ml Other constituents: Tobacco flavoring, Water and Propylene Glycol.
Dawn September 11, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Never purchase vapor liquid made is China! Only purchase made in U.S. e-liquid!! Even safer to make your own vapor juice, at least you know what your putting into your electronic vaporizer!!!!
The Beast ! September 11, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Thanks for the information Buzzard great comments
The Hunter September 12, 2013 at 12:43 PM
"Obsessed"? That's hilarious considering you are the one on the internet trying to look like something you aren't. You seem obsessed with making everyone think you are a Seal Beach resident, when we know that you aren't. Nearly every post you make reeks of deceit. I'm not a "HATER"; just a fan of the truth.
Dawn September 14, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Thanks Beastly!!!!

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