E-cigs to be banned at Hawaii health department

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii State Department of Health is banning the use of electronic smoking devices at all department properties.

The department said Monday the directive is the first of its kind among Hawaii state departments.

The ban goes into effect Jan. 1.

State health officials say while electronic smoking devices are touted for being smoke-free, they haven't been proven to be safe.

The department says the ban was one of the last policies signed by Health Director Loretta Fuddy, who died after the plane she was a passenger in lost power and crash-landed in the water off Molokai on Dec. 11.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution and create a vapor that users inhale.

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