LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Long Island village of Lindenhurst has decided to follow in the steps of New York City in banning the use of e-cigarettes in public buildings.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the mayor said the new law has been made in the name of public health. But the smokeless decision has been met with controversy.

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Marty Cruz of Lindenhurst said he hopes to wean himself off tobacco by smoking electronic cigarettes, or “vaping” as the practice is often called. He is not pleased that his village is cracking down on their use.

“I started smoking the e-cigarettes, which I thought would be a better thing,” Cruz said. “You know, I just can’t understand, why, you know, just trying to find an alternative – you know, they don’t like that either.”

The village board unanimously approved a new policy targeting the e-cigarettes. Use of electronic cigarettes of any kind is now banned inside village-owned buildings and village-owned vehicles, as well as within 50 feet of any entrance or window of a public village building.

“It’s not smoke. It’s a vapor. So is that saying, ‘You can’t boil a pot of water in a public place as well?’” said Charles Bonsignore of Lindenhurst.

E-cigarettes involve a liquid solution that is headed and vaporized, producing an aerosol that mimics
tobacco smoke.

Exhaling from an e-cigarette involves only exhaling water vapor, said Karen Warnetski of Lindenhurst.

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Doctors have been performing e-cigarette experiments with artificial lungs at the North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control. Experts said until Food and Drug Administration findings are in, the jury is still out.

“The safety of these electronic cigarettes have not been demonstrated completely yet, and we also don’t know what’s in all of the electronic cigarettes that are on the market,” said Dr. Patricia Folan of North Shore-LIJ Medical Center.

Despite new voluntary, dire health warnings on e-cigarette packaging, they have been growing in popularity. But some have also called them a teenage gateway to smoking tobacco.

“Smoking is smoking whether it is a regular cigarette or e-cigarette. It is not healthy for you,” one woman said.

In New York City, a law took effect earlier this year banning e-cigarette use in most workplaces and indoor spaces.

Several bills have also been introduced in Albany that would expand e-cigarette bans to public outdoor places such as parks and beaches.

E-cigarettes cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 19.

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