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Bans On ECigarettes In Restaurants And Bars Go Into Effect Today In New York And Chicago

New laws in New York City and Chicago ban electronic cigarettes from restaurants, bars and other public places. The bans that go into effect today are sparking debate among health officials, the e-cigarette industry and users of the increasingly popular devices. Proponents of the new bans say they are aimed at preventing the re-glamorization of smoking, particularly among teenagers who could see them as a gateway to tobacco-based cigarettes. Users and makers say the vaporizing devices were poorly named, causing confusion with regular cigarettes and they say the bans ostracize people who want an alternative tobacco product. Henrico-based tobacco giant Altria is pushing more aggressively into the electronic cigarette market and announced plans to expand its sales of its Mark-Ten e-cigarettes this quarter. They are not now regulated, but the FDA has just announced proposals an extended a period for public comment.