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FROM THIS EPISODE

The FDA hasn't been heard from, but an LA City Councilman calls inhaling the vapor from e-cigarettes a "deadly habit," and all 14 colleagues agree. We hear about yesterday's unanimous decision to regulate sales and get reaction from a pioneer in the business of marketing e-cigarettes. Also, the Democratic Mayor of a liberal city wants relief from paying into worker retirement plans. We talk with Chuck Reed of San Jose about a proposal for next year's state ballot.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, with holiday shopping under way, there's continued evidence of a frustrated workforce, with fast food workers striking again today.  And President Obama has called for a federal minimum wage hike from $7.25 to $10 an hour. Would that help rectify income inequality?  What are its chances on Capitol Hill and around the country?  

 

 

Banner image: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Lata Pandya
Christian Bordal

Main Topic E-Cigarettes: Health Hazard or Safe Way to Quit Smoking Tobacco? 16 MIN, 34 SEC

E-cigarettes are already a $1.7 billion business that's growing fast. The Centers for Disease Control reports that some 10% of high school students have inhaled vapor produced by the electronic devices. They heat liquids that sometimes contain nicotine and sometimes don't. The FDA has not issued any regulations of e-cigarettes but the LA City Council has. Yesterday, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell called them "a very sinister product," and joined the rest of his colleagues in unanimous support of a measure by Paul Koretz, who joins us.

Guests:
Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Council
John Jenkins, The Vapor Spot (@thevaporspot)
Stanton Glantz, UC San Francisco (@ProfGlantz)

Reporter's Notebook San Jose Mayor Pushes for Pension Reform 8 MIN, 23 SEC

Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino have declared bankruptcy, but they're not the only California cities in dire financial straits. Several others say they can't afford police, parks and other basic services because they're paying so much into workers' retirement plans. The Wall Street Journal says San Jose is the nation's richest major city, but that it's threatened with bankruptcy because of public-pension obligations. Mayor Chuck Reed is a Democrat who's willing to challenge organized labor with a proposal for next year's statewide ballot.

Guests:
Chuck Reed, City of San Jose (@SanJoseInfo)

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