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Santa Maria council to vote on flavored tobacco ban

Vaping e-cig generic

SANTA MARIA, Calif.- The Santa Maria City Council voted 5 to 0 to move forward on the proposed ban on flavored tobacco products within the city. 

Supports of the ban include the Santa Maria Bonita School District, Cottage Hospital doctors, dentist and the DA of Santa Barbara.

"What we found is over the last 5 years the tobacco industry has gone after our children by creating over 15,000 flavored products marketed specifically to children and youth," said Fighting Back Santa Maria director Edwin Weaver.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the E-Cigarette company Juul, for according to its protestors doing just that.

"Because of that the increase of vaping and tobacco products being ingested by our youth have skyrocketed," said Weaver.

According to the Santa Barbara County DA's office over 80% of kids who use tobacco started with flavored tobacco products. But those against the ban say kids will get it regardless.

"I smoked when I was 12 years old, I always found cigarettes, it never stopped me, the kids are still going to get these things," said vape user Larry Hislop.

The Center for Disease Control reported findings that Vitamin E with THC in vaping products is linked to lung related illnesses. They also report that 42 deaths have resulted from vaping complications in the US.

"These deaths are related from THC bootleg type of products, non-black market products are not what's causing the problem," said Hislop.

Some advocating for the ban say the products are just not safe do to lack of regulations.

"One study showed that 80% of the products that said there were 0% nicotine, actually contained nicotine in them. The FDA has not regulated this product sold to our kids," said Weaver.

A local vape shop says the ban will stop people from being able to use the products to quit smoking.

“People have the right to choose vaping over cigarettes but if their right to choose vaping is taken away then they will be stuck on cigarettes,” said Sector Vape manager Leon Simmons Jr.

Arroyo Grande and Morro Bay city councils have also passed bans on the sale of vaping-related products.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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