By Aidan Gardiner
NEW YORK CITY — The City Council extended existing public smoking bans to include electronic cigarettes during their last legislative session of the year Thursday, reports said.
The bill, which passed by an overwhelming majority, bans the devices in bars, restaraunts, parks and other public places where smoking is prohibited. The new law goes into effect in four months, the New York Times and CBS reported.
E-cigarettes, which are about the size and shape of a regular cigarette, use a battery to vaporize nicotine that users then inhale.
"Although the long-term effects of electronic cigarette devices require further study, the FDA has found that some devices contain toxins and carcinogens and has expressed concerns about their safety," the legislation reads.
Supporters of the bill also said that they were concerned about second-hand vapor and that the nicotine vials, which are often sweetened, can addict children, the Times reported.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has yet to approve the legislation, though he is expected to do so, CBS reported.
City legislators also approved a ban on the use of styrofoam unless a year-long study shows that the material can be recycled effectively, the Times reported.
Small businesses were enraged when Bloomberg first proposed the ban in February because it would force them to buy more expensive containers.