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States are piling on.
Michigan took the primary statewide shot at vaping early this month when it introduced a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarette merchandise. It was quickly joined by New York, and Rhode Island jumped in Wednesday. Massachusetts went additional, saying Tuesday that it will prohibit the sale of all vaping flavors and units for 4 months.
But in California — which prides itself on progressive insurance policies — lawmakers this yr punted on a proposal for a statewide ban on flavored tobacco merchandise.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom this month added that he didn’t have the authority to enact a taste ban, as others states have, and instead announced funding for a brand new public consciousness marketing campaign and elevated enforcement of the sale of e-cigarettes.
In the absence of a statewide ban — and because the variety of individuals getting sick or dying from vaping mounts — California cities and counties are stepping in, together with main inhabitants facilities similar to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
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Local governments are taking the lead as a result of they should, mentioned Tom Butt, the mayor of Richmond, Calif., which not too long ago adopted a sweeping ordinance that bans the sale of all vaping merchandise beginning Jan. 1. The ban was modeled after the one San Francisco adopted in June.
“That’s where change happens first, in the cities,” Butt mentioned. “Some states and particularly Congress are really slow to act on things like this.”
Livermore’s City Council accepted an identical ban, and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office expects to current one to county officers for consideration throughout the subsequent few months.
Nearly 50 California jurisdictions prohibit or limit the sale of flavored tobacco merchandise or are contemplating ordinances. E-liquids, that are heated in vaping units and might comprise nicotine or marijuana, are available flavors like strawberry-pineapple and candy desserts. Health officers are involved that the flavors attraction to teenagers and preteens.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is anticipated to carry a ultimate vote on a proposal to ban the retail sale of all flavored tobacco merchandise within the county’s unincorporated communities, residence to about 1 million individuals.
In town of Los Angeles — with a inhabitants of about four million individuals — City Attorney Mike Feuer can also be calling for motion.
“Enacting a citywide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products is the best way to safeguard our youth and protect the general public from significant health risks,” Feuer mentioned.
Dr. Tony Kuo, director of the division of continual illness and harm prevention at Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health, mentioned the ban on flavored tobacco merchandise is required in response to the rising outbreak of vaping-related respiratory diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 805 cases of vaping-related lung diseases in 46 states, together with a minimum of 12 deaths, which were linked to each nicotine and hashish vaping merchandise. California officers are investigating nearly 100 cases. They haven’t but been in a position to join the diseases to a selected taste or chemical.
Of the 2 deaths associated to the diseases in California, one occurred in Los Angeles County.
“Even before that, we were monitoring the expansion of the e-cigarette epidemic among youth,” Kuo mentioned.
Recent federal data funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse present that 25% of this yr’s highschool seniors and 20% of 10th graders reported vaping nicotine prior to now month. That’s greater than double the use reported in 2017.
In addition to cities and counties that already adopted ordinances, a handful of California communities are contemplating taste bans, whereas a couple of others need to observe San Francisco with an outright ban on all vapes.
A supervisor in San Mateo County — which already has a ban in place for the sale of flavored tobacco in unincorporated areas — now needs to ban all e-cigarettes. A San Jose City Council member has proposed an identical measure.
But these communities should brace themselves for an inevitable battle with Big Tobacco and the vaping trade.
San Francisco-based Juul Labs, the producer of the preferred e-cigarette, has already spent millions to advertise Proposition C, a measure on the November poll that might overturn town’s e-cigarette ban. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors accepted the ban in June but it surely doesn’t take impact till early subsequent yr.
Meanwhile, Livermore has to position its ban on e-cigarette gross sales earlier than voters after Juul efficiently pushed a referendum to maintain the ban from taking impact. Residents will vote in March.
The Vapor Technology Association, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group, mentioned it advocates for smart regulation in native governments, however needs to maintain flavors as an possibility for grownup customers.
It filed a lawsuit Wednesday towards New York’s statewide taste ban.
“We stand ready to work with individual cities and counties on thoughtful and effective regulations that restrict youth access, preserve flavored alternatives for adult smokers seeking to quit, and allow legal and responsible vape small business owners the ability to continue to operate in a regulated market,” Tony Abboud, government director of the Vapor Technology Association, mentioned in an announcement.
Joseph Ditre, an affiliate professor of psychology at Syracuse University, mentioned it is sensible that native governments and states are searching for options, however added that they need to think about potential penalties.
“One concern would be a rise in the underground market and bootleg products,” he mentioned. “It doesn’t take long to search the internet and find recipes to making nicotine juices that can be used in almost any vaping device,” Ditre mentioned.
Butt, the mayor of Richmond, acknowledged the potential of an increase in black-market merchandise, however “the alternative is to do nothing,” he mentioned.
“What we’re doing is not perfect, it’s not going to solve all the problems, but it’s better than doing nothing.”
State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) mentioned statewide motion can be simpler and more durable for the trade to battle than native efforts. In the state legislative session that simply ended, Hill launched a bill that might have prohibited the sale of flavored tobacco merchandise throughout California.
Strong opposition from the vaping and tobacco industries resulted in amendments that watered down the invoice to exclude menthol-flavored tobacco, flavors for hookahs and another flavored merchandise that existed earlier than 2000. Disappointed with the modifications, Hill determined to tug his invoice from consideration this yr.
Even a reasonable proposal by state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), which might have added restrictions on the sale and commercial of vaping merchandise, couldn’t make it out of the legislature this yr.
Hill plans to return again with a stronger model, one that may embrace all flavors —with no exceptions.
“The crisis is becoming more evident,” he mentioned. “Addiction is more real and the deaths are becoming almost a daily event, so we have to take some action or we’re not responsible legislators.”
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