San Diego County Mulls E-Cigs Oversight

A variety of e-cigarettes are available. Getty Images

San Diego County may soon join the cities and counties regulating electronic cigarettes.

When the Board of Supervisors meets Tuesday, they will consider putting e-cigarettes under the same regulations as cigars, cigarettes and pipes.

Supervisors Dave Roberts and Ron Roberts are proposing that the county add what’s described as “electronic vapor devices” into the existing policies and guidelines that limit use and marketing of tobacco products.

The city of Vista and the Sweetwater Union High School District recently banned the use of e-cigarettes in public areas where smoking is prohibited.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors will consider adding e-cigarette to the other types of smoking products. NBC 7's Megan Tevrizian reports. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013)

The battery-operated devices do not use tobacco but can be filled with a liquid nicotine.

A recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention study suggests the use of e-cigarettes could lead teenagers to other tobacco products.

The FDA says it plans a proposal to adopt oversight of e-cigs, and to regulate them in the same manner as tobacco products.

Travis Saul smokes e-cigs and also manages a Kearny Mesa store that sells them.

He says e- cigs helped him kick his smoking habit of regular cigarettes.

The devices let people puff on synthetic nicotine, without taking in tar or some of the other harmful substances common to regular cigarettes.

Even though there aren't as many toxins in the e-cig, toxicology reports show nicotine has been noted to directly cause cancer.

John Pierce, Ph.D. works with UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and says more research needs to be done about the health effects of e-cigs.

“The issue is we’re hooking another generation on nicotine products just when we saw the big declines occurring,” Pierce said. “It’s still an unknown.”