News

Menlo Park ban on flavored tobacco, vaping devices effective Jan. 17

In an effort to curb what's been declared an epidemic of vaping among young people in the area, the Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously on Dec. 17 to adopt an ordinance banning the sale of vaping devices and flavored tobacco citywide, effective Jan. 17.

Across San Mateo County, electronic cigarette use among high school students was reported by the California Student Tobacco Survey to be 20.8%, nearly twice the statewide prevalence of 10.9%.

Furthermore, about 86% of teens who do use tobacco products use flavored ones, and more than 80% of them who use tobacco start with flavored tobacco, according to national research cited in the city ordinance.

Similar bans were approved in early November by supervisors of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to cover unincorporated county areas, and the Palo Alto City Council on Dec. 9 directed staff to prepare an ordinance that would ban vaping device sales in that city.

The ban also aligns with a Nov. 19 recommendation by the American Medical Association calling for a ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tobacco product sales have been limited to those 21 and older across California since 2016, and Congress voted on Dec. 19 to restrict tobacco product sales, including e-cigarettes, to those 21 and older nationwide, restrictions likely to be put in place later this year. The president is expected to sign the bill into law, according to several national news publications.

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The ordinance will also allow the city manager and code enforcement officer to withdraw permits for tobacco retail operations if the ordinance is violated, and to prohibit vendors from offering free samples or coupons related to tobacco products, selling tobacco product samples out of their packages, and using self-service displays for tobacco product sales. It also clarifies that the ban is not only on selling, but also on distributing flavored tobacco and vape devices.

To alert retailers about the change in policy, county workers will inform them about the ordinance, and volunteers trained by the county will visit existing tobacco retailers and ask them to remove flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products from their shelves.

The ban also imposes additional restrictions on tobacco products and broadens the city's definition of what constitutes secondhand smoke to include "secondhand aerosol emitted from electronic cigarettes."

The City Council on Dec. 10 asked that the city look into zoning changes to ban smoke shops and hookah lounges from operating in Menlo Park, a step that will require a review and public hearing at the Planning Commission level.

While voting for the ordinance on Dec. 17, Councilman Ray Mueller added that he is interested in creating a "narrowly tailored exception" in which electronic cigarettes could be sold under medical supervision behind a pharmacy counter, which he said he is interested in discussing in the new year.

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Lung injury outbreak

These changes come as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) deals with an outbreak of a new lung disease it's calling EVALI, short for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury. As of Dec. 17, there have been 2,506 hospitalizations and 54 deaths reported from the outbreak across the U.S.

On Dec. 20, the CDC released four reports about the outbreak, noting that emergency department visits for the condition appear to have peaked in September and are on the decline, though the rate is still higher than when the outbreak began in June. The injuries are believed to be linked to vitamin E acetate.

In addition, the CDC reports research suggesting that many patients experiencing EVALI remain vulnerable after hospital discharge. The CDC is now recommending that physicians follow up with a patient within two days after he or she is sent home from the hospital.

In addition, it recommends that people not use vaping products containing THC or vitamin E acetate, and that youth, young adults and pregnant women never use vaping products.

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Menlo Park ban on flavored tobacco, vaping devices effective Jan. 17

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:51 am

In an effort to curb what's been declared an epidemic of vaping among young people in the area, the Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously on Dec. 17 to adopt an ordinance banning the sale of vaping devices and flavored tobacco citywide, effective Jan. 17.

Across San Mateo County, electronic cigarette use among high school students was reported by the California Student Tobacco Survey to be 20.8%, nearly twice the statewide prevalence of 10.9%.

Furthermore, about 86% of teens who do use tobacco products use flavored ones, and more than 80% of them who use tobacco start with flavored tobacco, according to national research cited in the city ordinance.

Similar bans were approved in early November by supervisors of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to cover unincorporated county areas, and the Palo Alto City Council on Dec. 9 directed staff to prepare an ordinance that would ban vaping device sales in that city.

The ban also aligns with a Nov. 19 recommendation by the American Medical Association calling for a ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tobacco product sales have been limited to those 21 and older across California since 2016, and Congress voted on Dec. 19 to restrict tobacco product sales, including e-cigarettes, to those 21 and older nationwide, restrictions likely to be put in place later this year. The president is expected to sign the bill into law, according to several national news publications.

The ordinance will also allow the city manager and code enforcement officer to withdraw permits for tobacco retail operations if the ordinance is violated, and to prohibit vendors from offering free samples or coupons related to tobacco products, selling tobacco product samples out of their packages, and using self-service displays for tobacco product sales. It also clarifies that the ban is not only on selling, but also on distributing flavored tobacco and vape devices.

To alert retailers about the change in policy, county workers will inform them about the ordinance, and volunteers trained by the county will visit existing tobacco retailers and ask them to remove flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products from their shelves.

The ban also imposes additional restrictions on tobacco products and broadens the city's definition of what constitutes secondhand smoke to include "secondhand aerosol emitted from electronic cigarettes."

The City Council on Dec. 10 asked that the city look into zoning changes to ban smoke shops and hookah lounges from operating in Menlo Park, a step that will require a review and public hearing at the Planning Commission level.

While voting for the ordinance on Dec. 17, Councilman Ray Mueller added that he is interested in creating a "narrowly tailored exception" in which electronic cigarettes could be sold under medical supervision behind a pharmacy counter, which he said he is interested in discussing in the new year.

Lung injury outbreak

These changes come as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) deals with an outbreak of a new lung disease it's calling EVALI, short for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury. As of Dec. 17, there have been 2,506 hospitalizations and 54 deaths reported from the outbreak across the U.S.

On Dec. 20, the CDC released four reports about the outbreak, noting that emergency department visits for the condition appear to have peaked in September and are on the decline, though the rate is still higher than when the outbreak began in June. The injuries are believed to be linked to vitamin E acetate.

In addition, the CDC reports research suggesting that many patients experiencing EVALI remain vulnerable after hospital discharge. The CDC is now recommending that physicians follow up with a patient within two days after he or she is sent home from the hospital.

In addition, it recommends that people not use vaping products containing THC or vitamin E acetate, and that youth, young adults and pregnant women never use vaping products.

Comments

drug users
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Dec 31, 2019 at 1:29 pm
drug users, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Dec 31, 2019 at 1:29 pm
1 person likes this

Thank you! Get rid of this scourge!


drug users
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 1, 2020 at 10:52 am
drug users, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 1, 2020 at 10:52 am
3 people like this

speaking of drug use - from our dear leader yesterday:


"Vaping is coming out. We’re just going to be announcing it very shortly. Some people already know about what we’re doing. We have to protect our families. At the same time, it’s a big industry. We want to protect the industry. And, as you know, we’ll be taking it off -- the flavors -- for a period of time -- certain flavors.

We’re going to protect our families. We’re going to protect our children. And we’re going to protect the industry. Hopefully, if everything is safe, they’re going to be going very quickly back onto the market. So the flavors will come off. They’re going to be checked. We want to make it -- people have died from this.

They’ve died from vaping. We think we understand why. But we’re doing a very exhaustive examination, and hopefully everything will be back on the market very, very shortly. Look, vaping can be good from the standpoint -- you look at the e-cigarettes -- you stop smoking. If you can stop smoking, that’s a big advantage.

So we think we’re going to get it back onto the market very, very quickly, but we have to protect the children. We have to protect the families. At the same time, we have a very big industry. It’s become a very big industry. We’re going to take care of the industry."


To appreciate it in all it's glory, please read it at least twice, if not three times.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jan 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jan 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Like this comment

"from our dear leader yesterday"

And his supporters believe that moronic claptrap from the imbecile in chief.


Ukrainian Vape
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 2, 2020 at 4:57 pm
Ukrainian Vape, Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 2, 2020 at 4:57 pm
15 people like this

Reading that, it almost sounds like the Ukrainian phone call: do a favor for me....

Doesn't it sound like he's soliciting donations (bribes) from the industry? He mentions them 5 times, but not our kids that are getting hooked on their products.

Do me a little favor then....


West Menlo
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 3, 2020 at 5:14 pm
West Menlo, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 3, 2020 at 5:14 pm
Like this comment

Wow---Trump Derangement Syndrome!!

Why make it illegal? Why not make it illegal to sell to underage kids? Why not make it illegal for underage kids to use? Then prosecute them if they are caught using or fine the heck out of the stores which sell to the underage kids? Does that mean that they are going to take tobacco products off the market in Menlo Park? They are a heck of a lot more destructive than vaping products. What about alcohol? Lots of bad things happen with alcohol. And, finally, when are we going to make it illegal to smoke marijuana? Let's at least try to be a little consistent her, folks!!


drug users
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 3, 2020 at 7:26 pm
drug users, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 3, 2020 at 7:26 pm
Like this comment

Wow - 8 questions, and nary a fact or opinion. Thanks for sharing.

Let's ask: how do you feel these poisons should be regulated?

Or, what are your thoughts on the president's soliloquy?


West Menlo
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm
West Menlo, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm
Like this comment

OK @drug user: I'll put it in simple rhetorical statements then: Make it illegal to sell to underage kids. Prosecute them when they are caught and fine the heck out of the merchants that are caught selling to minors. We should, for the sake of consistency, consider making illegal all sales of tobacco products in Menlo Park. They have been proven to be more destructive than vaping products. At the same time, let's ban sale and consumption of alcohol and, certainly, marijuana (another smoking product) in MP as well, both of which have caused their share of societal ills.

Now do you understand a bit better? Do you understand irony? Didn't think so...

BTW: 2 questions and not a fact or opinion in your comment...


drug users
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 4, 2020 at 5:12 pm
drug users, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jan 4, 2020 at 5:12 pm
Like this comment

> 2 questions and not a fact or opinion in your comment...

Not in that comment, but in the first comment in this thread. Sorry you missed it.

Thanks for finally offering an opinion and wow, all the extraneous whataboutisms (alcohol - bad!) In fact, the longer your rant goes, the more it starts to sound more like the one posted above from our vaper-in-chief.

You say outlaw sales to kids; by extension you believe kid-oriented flavors should still be available?

So using Joe Camel to sell cigarettes to underage smokers is okay, as long as it's illegal for a retailer to actually sell them? How'd that work out for public health, quality of lives, and suffering, along with public health costs?


West Menlo
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 5, 2020 at 6:04 pm
West Menlo, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 5, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Like this comment

@drug users :
Please answer me this: are you in favor of legalization of marijuana?

Your answer would tell me a lot.

When do you think someone is old enough to make a decision as to what to put in their body?

So, in your first comment, I would assume you would also like to get rid of tobacco products, and if you are into wiping out scourges, alcohol has to be on your list. Look at the lives ruined, families broken up, and lives lost due to alcohol. That too? so, where do you stop? And who gave you the right to protect me from myself?


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