By JOSH FRIEDMAN
Following the lead of San Francisco, and Arroyo Grande, the Morro Bay City Council endorsed a proposed ban on the sale of vaping products Tuesday night.
Earlier this year, San Francisco adopted a temporary ban on the sale of e-cigarettes and related products and accessories, prohibiting their distribution until they are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Last month, the Arroyo Grande City Council directed staff to study the possibility of a ban on selling vaping products.
Then on Tuesday, the Morro Bay council gave support to a proposal to include a ban on the sale of vaping products in new tobacco regulations the city is planning on adopting.
A Morro Bay staff report defines vaping as inhaling aerosol from an e-cigarette or other vaping devices. The devices could contain nicotine, marijuana, cannabidiol or other substances.
Currently, vaping and e-cigarette use are said to be skyrocketing among teenagers.
A 2017-2018 California Healthy Kids Survey found 18 percent of 9th graders at Morro Bay High School and 22 percent of 11th graders used vaping products at least once in the month prior to being polled. More than 60 percent of students surveyed said it was fairly easy or very easy for high school students to obtain vaping products.
Proponents of e-cigarette bans argue vaping poses an immediate health risk and has been the cause of some recent teenage deaths. Critics, though, argue vaping is a less harmful alternative to long-term cigarette use.
At the federal level, the Trump Administration is planning a ban on flavored vapes, which are said to be popular among youth.