- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - Beverly Hills has joined the list of cities moving to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as tobacco products.

The City Council on Tuesday voted to ban e-cigarettes from parks, open-air dining areas, workplaces and city buildings. Sales to minors and from vending machines would be prohibited.

The council gave preliminary approval to the regulations with a final vote expected in March.

Los Angeles and New York, other cities and some states already regulate e-cigarettes. The federal government has indicated it plans to regulate them.

The electronic devices heat up liquid nicotine so the vapor can be breathed.

Proponents say they lack the toxic tars of tobacco cigarettes. Critics note the lack of research on e-cigarette safety and say it could be a gateway for young people into smoking.