Another California City Considering Complete Ban On Vapor Products
City Council Proposes Prohibitive Policy
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has represented the largest public health challenge in modern history. Despite the pressing priority the pandemic poses, some lawmakers are choosing to shift their focus to more questionable topics during these trying times.
The Pleasanton City Council is currently scheduled to discuss moving forward with a proposed prohibitive policy targeting vapor products. The proposed policy is one of the most prohibitive in the country, aiming to completely ban sales of vaporizers and other vaping products.
The proposal was initially discussed during a session back in February, but finalizing the measure had to be delayed due to the city’s pandemic response. Due to social distancing protocols, the council meeting had to be held remotely and was only able to be viewed online or through public access television.
The council has expressed a desire to address the trend of teenage vaping and believes the proposed regulations will reduce youth exposure to vapor products, in turn reducing their use. Critics of the proposal note the readily available access to vapor products in neighboring jurisdictions and online, stating the measure simply punishes former adult smokers as determined teens will continue to seek out alternate channels.
The council is set for an introduction and initial reading in the upcoming week. Following approval, the proposal would then advance to a second reading and final adoption two weeks afterward, a requirement of the city’s two-meeting process. Given the current timeframe and expected adoption, the proposal would be expected to take effect on June 20th.
The Pleasanton City Council is moving forward with a proposed prohibition on all vapor products within their jurisdiction. The proposed prohibitive policy aims to ban the sale of all vapor products, including vaporizers and juice alike, as an attempt to reduce youth vaping.
In addition to the complete ban, lawmakers have also proposed a measure to ban all flavored tobacco products, as well as the creation of a strict new licensing program requiring retailers to obtain an annual permit from the city. To add to this draconian nightmare of ham-fisted moralistic legislation, the city is also planning on banning anyone under the age of 21 from possessing tobacco or vapor products.
According to the city’s own estimates, the proposed legislation is expected to cost the city up to $50,000 annually in lost tax revenue. As budget cuts loom following revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus crisis, it will be interesting to see what the city defunds as a result.
Adult smokers who had successfully quit thanks to vaping are concerned for their health and futures thanks to the proposed prohibition. “If we take this and ban all flavors and all sales, I’m probably going to go back to smoking because I am an addict and it’s hard to deal with, but what we’re not going to do is realize that all of these sales will go online … and all you have to do is click, ‘I am 21 years old,'” said David Wilson, a lifelong Pleasanton resident.
The worldwide smoking epidemic is responsible for killing and sickening millions each and every year. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, there are an estimated 38 million smokers in the United States alone, 16 million of whom currently face some form of smoking-related illness.
Vaping has repeatedly proven itself as one of the greatest tools at our disposal in the war against the ongoing smoking epidemic. A study by the University of Louisville concluded vaping is the single most effective smoking cessation option, even more than prescription alternatives such as Chantix.
Current research indicates that vaping is already responsible for helping thousands of adult smokers successfully quit each year. Research from University College London found that vaping helped up to 70,000 British smokers quit in just one year alone.
Alongside being one of the most effective smoking cessation aids available, research has shown vaping to be a reduced harm alternative to smoking as well. Studies from Public Health England and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center found that vaping is 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
Not only has vaping been repeatedly demonstrated as an effective smoking cessation aid and reduced harm alternative to smoking, but current evidence indicates no risk of harm from long-term usage as well. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that vaping is not only significantly less harmful than smoking, but there are currently no known long-term health effects associated with prolonged use.
During a time of unprecedented crisis, many lawmakers are choosing to prioritize vaping over the pressing public health matters at hand. Rather than ensuring their public employees are properly protected against the pandemic and their constituents are able to support their families, they would rather make sure that people don’t dare Juul.
Citizens of Pleasanton should take careful stock of the voting record of council members as the current election season approaches. This kind of legislative overreach is exactly what lawmakers should account for during a bid for reelection.
What are your thoughts regarding the current proposal in Pleasanton? Do you think this is a productive public health priority amid a pandemic? Let us know what you think in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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