While electronic cigarettes have seen a tenfold rise in sales over the last year, U.K. Daily Mail reports that many owners of New York’s most exclusive restaurants are not as enthusiastic about the recent trend. Smoking in restaurants has long been banned across the United States, but e-cigarettes present a new set of issues for chefs and restaurant owners. While the cigarettes do not technically produce second-hand smoke from tobacco, many do contain nicotine and other harmful toxins. Most chefs interviewed unanimously disliked the look of e-cigarettes, proclaiming them to be “tacky” and a distraction to other patrons. Other chefs claim the cigarettes emit a distinct odor.
Not all restaurant smoking laws prohibit the use of e-cigarettes, and this raises a unique question as to the rights of business owners to ban e-cigarettes and possible litigation that may arise in reaction to this form of smoking.
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