RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Inland Empire smokers trying to kick the habit with so-called electronic cigarettes will have to do so outdoors, thanks to an approved ban by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Conventional cigarettes have been prohibited for years inside every county owned and operated building because of the health risk associated with secondhand smoke.

E-cigarettes have become a concern because of secondhand nicotine.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, a Riverside County health officer, said that while that isn’t a valid concern, he can’t say it’s an unnecessary risk.

He said nicotine impacts the heart and lungs, increases blood pressure and heart rate, and puts a strain on the circulatory system.

Kaiser advised the Board of Supervisors to lump electronic cigarettes with tobacco products and prohibit smoking them in Riverside County buildings.

“We just don’t have enough data on these devices yet,” he said. “We’d like to get more information before we allow them to be used in an unregulated fashion.”

The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t made a ruling yet on e-cigarettes.

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