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Cape Town scrutinises e-cigarettes

The devices which look like conventional cigarettes cannot currently be banned.

Kyle Stamm, of New York, vapes, or smokes an electronic cigarette, at Henley Vaporium on April 29, 2014 in New York City. A new law that goes into effect today in New York and Chicago subjects electronic cigarettes to the same regulations as tobacco. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - E-cigarettes are in the spotlight in Cape Town with city authorities pondering whether or not to control their use.

The devices which look like conventional cigarettes cannot currently be banned under tobacco legislation because they do not contain the substance.

The devices contain liquid nicotine, which is heated and vaporised before being inhaled.

Mayoral Committee Member for Health, Benedicta van Minnen says the city has received several complaints in the last few months.

"Some people say it's not associated and some people have health concerns. So in order to clarify this, we have reverted back to the national department. They have admitted the legislation is unclear and quite frankly excludes e-cigarettes at this point."