Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Thursday released a report to the City Council detailing options for restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products.
“Flavored tobacco plays an outsized role in the vaping epidemic confronting our youth and has long been a factor in increasing demand for traditional tobacco products,” Feuer said. “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.”
The city attorney’s report shows similar laws that have been enacted in other cities and states that aim to curtail sales of electronic cigarettes, hookah devices and other products that distribute nicotine. Some of the prohibitions suggested include regulating vaping advertising or coupons, as well as consideration of an outright ban on the substances and devices.
“With the introduction of e-cigarettes … flavored products were reintroduced to a new generation of our youth with resulting increase in youth tobacco usage,” according to the city attorney’s report. “The current health crisis was a predictable result and so too should be the city’s response.”
The Food and Drug Administration has been using criminal investigators to examine illnesses related to using vaping products, Mitch Zeller, the director of the Center for Tobacco Products for the FDA, said on Thursday.
“Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working tirelessly to investigate the distressing incidents of severe respiratory illness associated with use of vaping products,” a statement from the FDA website reads. “The FDA and CDC are working closely with state and local health officials to investigate these incidents as quickly as possible, and we are committed to taking appropriate actions as a clearer picture of the facts emerges.”
ABC News reported on Thursday that more than 500 illnesses related to vaping have been reported nationwide, and at least seven people have died.
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