Local and national leaders took aim at e-cigarette products this week.
San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar called for a sweeping countywide ban during the public comment period of the county supervisors meeting Tuesday in Stockton.
“We’re asking all business — large, small, mom and pops — to cease and stop selling e-cigarettes in our community,” she added.
She cited the risks of addiction and exposure to toxins and emphasized the rising number of teens and young adults vaping.
“These tools — vaping, Juul and the others, the e-cigarettes — are solely designed to market to our youth with flavors like cotton candy or bubble gum in order for individuals to use and become introduced and eventually addicted to nicotine,” she said.
Verber Salazar said her goal was a law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarette and vaping products countywide. She also called on the public to pressure retailers to stop sales immediately.
“I ask every member of our community — mothers, fathers, grandfathers, children, neighbors, friends. Talk to your retailers and demand that they stop selling to our youth a highly addictive, destructive and detrimental tool to our community,” Verber Salazar said. “We need to stand together, and I ask every business to do this voluntarily before we create the ordinance, but if not, we will be seeking that ordinance.”
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he would seek a nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarette products, including mint and menthol.
“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a news release.
The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates e-cigarettes and tobacco products, will develop an enforcement policy soon, according to the release.
Both announcements came as federal investigative teams are seeking the cause of hundreds of cases of of serious lung disease in 36 states, all linked to e-cigarette use. Six people are confirmed to have died, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend avoiding vaping until more is known.