Peach mango pineapple, strawberry watermelon, chocolate mint – what looks like a smoothie menu or a candy shelf are actually some of the flavored tobacco products currently on the market, all of which will be banned from being sold. ‘Here on December 4 in the town of Goleta, a decision a majority of the city council said they were doing to protect young people from predatory marketing and nicotine addiction. The city won the 4-1 vote last Tuesday despite the refusal of the city’s three 21-plus tobacco shops and a protest by speakers of Middle Eastern descent, who argued for traditional tobacco use. hookah pipe be allowed.
Although illegal for purchase by minors, vapers and e-cigarettes were used or sampled by 18% of 9th graders and 27% of 11th graders surveyed in Santa Barbara County in 2017-2019. . Ninety percent of adults who smoke started in their teens, according to the Goleta staff report, and once flavored products were introduced, vaping doubled among high school students. The newly introduced nicotine salts increased the amount of nicotine consumed, the staff report continued, and inhaled byproducts included formaldehyde, lead, nickel, acetaldehyde, and ultrafine metal and silicate particles.
Renata Valladares, health educator with the County Public Health’s Smoking Prevention and Cannabis Education Program, said the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates packaging, has rejected nearly one million proposed vaping packages because they were targeting young people. She went on to comment that disposable vape devices were designed to look like pens, highlighters, and USB drives, which made it harder for teachers and administrators to identify them.
During a two-hour discussion, Goleta City Council heard from two dozen commentators, including middle school and high school students: “Children try flavored tobacco because they like the taste,” said the One. Two. Others described going to bathrooms full of kids vaping and how students vaped in class, blowing vapor into a sweatshirt pocket.
The town’s retail tobacco store owners protested they would be bankrupted, with one saying tobacco sales could account for as much as 80 percent of business. A number of people at the Zoom meeting on September 21 spoke about hookah pipes and how they were a part of Middle Eastern society; they accused that it would be discriminatory to withdraw a traditional tobacco with molasses or honey.
To these arguments, other speakers, including USC epidemiologist Jessica Barrington-Trimis, countered that risk factors for young people included not only a hard-to-stop nicotine addiction – especially with nicotine used in vape cartridges to sweeten the taste – but negative cognitive effects for a developing brain. Another said unflavored tobacco would remain available for hookah, although board member Roger Aceves disagreed that the ban would end the sale of flavored pipe tobacco, which many of his relatives appreciated, he said.
Mayor Paula Perotte observed that flavored tobacco targeted children, and she believed the community and the city had a responsibility to protect them. Board member James Kyriaco echoed his sentiment, saying, “Do we want to take proactive steps to protect our children and youth? The answer is absolutely yes. The council chose to give the 32 retailers that sell tobacco in the city an additional 60 days before the new ordinance goes into effect, or until Dec. 4, 2021, to comply with the ban.
If this all sounds like something you’ve heard before, it’s because you heard it. Santa Barbara County last year banned flavored tobacco products in all unincorporated areas of the county, and they are also banned in the towns of Carpinteria, Santa Maria and Guadalupe. The state of California banned them under Senate Bill 793, but the law, signed by Gov. Newsom in August, has been challenged, and voters will have the opportunity to vote for flavored tobacco products during the November 2022 poll.
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