New York City votes to bans e-cigarettes in public places
Photo illustration taken in Washington, shows a woman smoking a 'Blu' e cigarette [AFP]

New York City has voted to extend its strict smoking ban to e-cigarettes, barring them from bars, restaurants, parks, beaches and other public places.

The bill, approved late Thursday, is expected to be signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the coming days and will then come into effect after 180 days, his spokesman said.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered and deliver doses of nicotine and other additives via aerosol.

They are sold as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes that can even help smokers quit their habit.

New York already has some of the strictest no-smoking legislation in the world. Last month it voted to outlaw the sale of cigarettes or tobacco to anyone under 21.

Smoking traditional tobacco products is already forbidden in bars, restaurants, parks, public spaces and city beaches.

Taxes on cigarettes are also the highest in the United States at $5.85 per pack, which sets the price of a pack at around about $12 (8.87 euros).

The effects of New York City's tough anti-smoking stance has seen declining numbers of adult smokers, slipping from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 14.8 percent in 2011, according to city hall.