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BOISE -- Effective Wednesday, April 9, City of Boise employees will no longer be allowed to smoke e-cigarettes at work. The Boise City Council passed a resolution at Tuesday's meeting to add e-cigarettes to their existing ban on tobacco products.

This is an internal employee regulation, said City of Boise spokesman, Adam Park. We're actually changing the tobacco use from a policy to a regulation tonight as well, and this would only impact city employees while they're on the job.

City employees cannot use tobacco products in their workplace, in city vehicles, or within 20 feet of an entrance to a city facility. Now, e-cigarettes have been added to those rules.

E-cigarettes have become more popular, we had to consider whether or not our policy would include that, said Park. We originally assumed that it did include it, but the definition of our policy was based on tobacco use and e-cigarettes technically aren't tobacco.

While e-cigarettes don't contain tobacco, they do have nicotine. Doctors say they are a better alternative than traditional cigarettes, but they do not know the long-term effects. Park says they were aware of e-cigarettes when they passed the city smoking ban in 2011, but their popularity has grown enormously since then.

Our legal department is looking at this, and looking to see what other municipalities are doing around the county, so we will be considering whether or not to take additional action, Park said.

The City of Boise's only city-wide restriction against e-cigarettes right now is, like other tobacco products, that they cannot be sold to minors.

The City of Meridian put in a similar ban late last year.

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