Officials at a Los Angeles city council meeting Tuesday proposed banning all e-cigarettes and vaping devices until they are deemed safe by the federal Food and Drug Administration, according to reports.
The potential move would follow places like San Francisco and Massachusetts that have enacted similar e-cigarette bans in the wake of a spate of lung illnesses thought to be linked to the products, The Los Angeles Times reported.
While Washington state became the latest Wednesday to institute an emergency ban on flavored vaping products. Some chanted “shame” at the Board of Health’s voting session, the Seattle Times reports.
“The reports of illness and death caused by unregulated vaping devices is a public health crisis,” the motion introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz reads. “Los Angeles is not content to wait and do nothing as the numbers of illnesses and even deaths associated with unregulated vaping devices increases daily.”
Los Angeles County has already banned flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes, something states like Michigan and New York have done and the Trump administration supports.
The ban in New York will remain on hold until at least Oct. 18, when the parties are back in court. After being put on hold exactly on the same day it was supposed to go live. This is definitely a major win for our community and it shows that if the vaping community unites, we can start winning the good fight. The start of the movement has already begun across the internet and we we get more information we will present it to you. “We are very pleased with the New York State Appellate Division’s decision, which acknowledges the strength of our claims about the State’s executive overreach,” said Tony Abboud, who heads the Vapor Technology Association. State officials promised to press on and defend the ban.
The only thing vaping is killing is big tobacco. #wevapewevote
Massachusetts also has instituted a four-month ban on all vaping products creating a black market which only hurts everyone.
In Washington state, the State Board of Health adopted Gov. Jay Inslee's call for an emergency ban of flavored vaping products. Several other states have also adopted or are considering temporary bans.
For more information on localized vaping regulations, take a look at this breakdown of vaping laws in local jurisdictions.
Following an earlier CDC report last month that linked deaths to vaping—and very likely at Melania's behest—President Trump announced that the federal government would work for the removal of flavored vaping from the market and put out "some very strong recommendation" about vape usage within the next couple of months.
But then, a day later, Trump tweeted,
"While I like the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes, we need to make sure this alternative is SAFE for ALL! Let's get counterfeits off the market, and keep young children from Vaping!"
This seems to indicate a step backwards, pivoting attention to so-called "counterfeits"—which tends to refer to bootleg THC cartridges, which is another issue entirely—instead of all flavored e-cigs.
Separately, Congress is currently holding public hearings to learn more about vaping in America. So who the hell knows how this one will pan out.
So far many states have implemented already their own vape bans.
In early September, Michigan became the first state to announce its intent to limit the sale of vaping products, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she would issue an emergency ban on the online and retail sale of nicotine vaping products in any flavor except tobacco. Whitmer also said she would restrict the marketing of vaping products by forbidding the use of terms like “clean,” “safe” and “healthy.” (While vaping contain fewer known toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes, research on their health effects is inconclusive.)
The emergency ban was made official on Sept. 18, and is set to last 180 days. It can be extended for another six months after that, and Michigan lawmakers are also working on a permanent policy, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. Retailers were given two weeks to comply with the policy.
New York on Sept. 17 became the first state to actually implement a statewide ban on most flavored nicotine vaping products, just days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for emergency action. Cuomo’s policy drew some derision from public health advocates, however, because it does not restrict the sale of menthol-flavored products. (The state’s health commissioner is evaluating an additional ban on menthol products, according to Cuomo’s office.) Though they have been more heavily regulated than tobacco-flavored products, mint and menthol e-liquids have not been subject to as many sale restrictions as sweet and fruity flavors, because some public health officials fear that banning them would push users back toward menthol-flavored tobacco products still for sale.
After a two-week grace period similar to Michigan’s, New York was supposed to begin enforcing its ban on Oct. 4. After that point, retailers will face fines of up to $2,000 per violation if they are caught selling flavored products. Cuomo is expected to renew the ban every 90 days, the New York Daily News reports.
But as we all saw the ban was put on hold, which gives more time for our community to fight back. We don't know what the future holds but all we know is that there might be hope.
On Sept. 24, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency in the face of more than 500 vaping-related lung illnesses and at least seven deaths reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including five illnesses in Massachusetts. Baker also announced the country’s strictest vaping prohibition yet: a four-month, statewide ban on online and retail sales of all marijuana and tobacco vaping products, flavored or otherwise. A release from Baker’s office suggests that Massachusetts lawmakers chose to ban both marijuana and nicotine products due to continuing uncertainty over what is causing the lung illnesses reported across the country. The CDC has said that many of the people who have reported vaping-related illnesses used products containing THC, a compound in marijuana, but some reported using only nicotine.
Massachusetts’ policy went into effect immediately, and lasts through January 25, 2020.
The day after Massachusetts’ ban was announced, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order directing the state’s Department of Public Health to ban the sale of flavored vapes in the state. Raimondo did not specify at the signing whether the order also applies to menthol flavors, but noted that the ban will not extend to unflavored tobacco products.
At a briefing on Sept. 25, officials said the ban could go into effect as early as the following week. NBC 10 News reports it will be in place for 120 days afterwards. The state can then extend it for another 60 days.
At the signing of the order, Raimondo called vaping a “public-health crisis” for children, and said she is convening a group of medical experts to advise her on the best ways to contain the problem.
In Washington state, where seven people have developed "vaping-related" illnesses, health officials on Oct. 9 passed an emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vaping products. The 120-day rule went into effect following an executive order from Gov. Jay Inslee, who called on the state’s Board of Health to ban all flavored vaping products, including those containing THC. The decision was met with fierce opposition from vaping users who said they had used the products to quit smoking, as well as vape shop owners.
Though California has not enacted a statewide ban on vaping products, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 16 issued an executive order focused on curtailing the state’s youth vaping epidemic. Among other actions, the order allocates at least $20 million for a “vaping awareness campaign,” and calls on state agencies to develop recommendations for limiting the sales of vaping products to anyone younger than 21, and the sales of illegal and counterfeit vaping products broadly. The order also requests that the California Department of Public Health develop standards requiring vape retailers to post warning signs about the health risks of vaping. Newsom has also said he would like to ban flavored vape juices outright, but cannot do so through executive action alone.
Over the summer, San Francisco—where Juul is based—became the first major U.S. city to ban the sale of all nicotine e-cigarette products. A Juul-backed coalition opposes the ban, and it will go before a public vote in November. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is moving toward a similar ban on flavored products.