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Health Highlights: Dec. 23, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

NYC Extends Smoking Ban to E-Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes have been added to the ban on smoking in New York City offices, parks, restaurants and bars.

The measure passed in a 43-8 city vote at a city council meeting last week and will take effect in four months, Bloomberg News reported.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that simulate smoking by producing nicotine vapor. They may be a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes and make it more difficult for smokers to quit, according to Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

"The council has worked for well over a decade to curb smoking in New York City and I really believe it's one of our greatest accomplishments," Quinn said prior to the vote, Bloomberg reported. "E-cigarettes threaten, in my opinion, to undermine enforcement of the Smoke-Free Air Act."

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