Yesterday, the county’s Board of Supervisors approved a new ban on a number of vaping and tobacco products. The ban is aimed primarily at making it harder for young people to access these products. When the ban goes into effect, it will make all such products much more difficult to purchase across the board.
Los Angeles County’s New Ban Passes With Unanimous Approval
Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gave unanimous support to the new ban.
Under the terms of the new provision, all flavored tobacco products will be banned in the county. Importantly, this includes e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and menthol cigarettes.
Specifically, the ban will block brick and mortar retailers from selling these products. But it will not have any affect on online retailers. Similarly, the ban will not punish consumers who purchase these products from online vendors or outside the county.
Now that the initiative has been officially approved by the Board of Supervisors, the ban will go into effect in 30 days. Once the ban becomes operational, retailers will have another 180 days to get rid of all banned products. Additionally, retailers will also need to apply for updated licenses during that timeframe.
Responding to a Growing Health Crisis
According to authorities in Los Angeles County, the new ban is largely in response to the growing health concerns surrounding vaping. In particular, there has been an explosive uptick in recent months in the number of vaping related hospitalizations.
As reported by CBS News, there have already been more than 100 people in California alone who have been hospitalized due to vape-related lung damage. And across the nation as a whole, there have been at least 14 deaths linked to vaping.
“As the number of vaping-related deaths and hospitalizations climb, and as more states have taken steps to protect youth from the harmful effects of vaping products, we need to support our state leaders and ask them to step in to protect the public,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement.
Further, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county chose to target flavored tobacco products because these products are “driving the current vaping epidemic among youth.”
A National Trend
Los Angeles County is not the first place to ban vaping and vape-related products. For example, just last week Washington state called for a full ban on all flavored e-cigarettes.
Similarly, states including Michigan, New York, and Rhode Island have also called for emergency bans on flavored vaping products. And in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Barker recently implemented a four-month ban on all vaping devices, whether or not they are flavored.
And earlier this year, leading e-cigarette company Juul received widespread national backlash. In particular, the company came under fire for marketing that many believed targeted young consumers. Last month, Juul Labs announced that it is halting all U.S. advertising of its e-cigarettes.