Don't know if you know it, but it's illegal in California to sell electronic cigarettes to minors. LA City Council did two things at their Wednesday meeting to wrestle some control over the battery powered devices.
They voted unanimously to require sale of the e-cigs at stores licensed by the City Attorney's Office under it's tobacco control program. No more selling on ice cream trucks or at stores that aren't properly permitted. The whole idea to make them harder for minors to get.
For a two pack-a-day 20-year smoker e-cigs may be a good way to quit, but for kids who haven't smoked thinking they're cool – not so cool according to public officials.
At a news conference the City Attorney and the Director of LA County's Health Department spat out facts and figures on why they're such a problem, but it was Dr. Diane Tanaka at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles who may have summed it up best when she said they're not controlled. They're not. The FDA doesn't regulate them. No one does. So, now LA City Council is trying to do that with this action and another measure they hope to enact… keeping people from smoking them in public places just like where real cigarettes are prohibited.
Dr. Tanaka says another problem is there hasn't been much research so long term affects are not really know. And, are they addictive? "The jury's still out on that" she says.
The Los Angeles City Council today will consider banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
The 15-person council will take up a proposal by Councilman Paul Koretz to take the first steps in prohibiting the sale of so-called "e-cigarettes,'' which allow users to inhale nicotine-laced liquid as vapor, to young people and children, or to extend existing restrictions on traditional cigarettes and tobacco products to e-cigarettes.
The number of high school students who said they used e-cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012, from 4.7 to 10 percent, according to Koretz's original motion.
Before the vote, Koretz will be joined by City Attorney Mike Feuer, council colleagues Mitch O'Farrell and Bernard Parks, and the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, to discuss the proposed ban on e-cigarette sales. They will also announce another motion to regulate how e-cigarettes are used.
Several municipalities are now seeking to regulate e-cigarettes as they grow in popularity.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors last month voted to look into regulating electronic cigarette use under the county's anti-tobacco policy.
In August, Seal Beach's City Council set a 45-day moratorium on e-cigarette sales in new stores, something Los Angeles should also do, Koretz's motion states.