The new year is beginning with a renewed battle against flavored tobacco.
San Francisco has already led the way and on Monday, the entire state followed suit for a complete ban.
“We have high schoolers, even middle schoolers getting a hold of Juules and other vapes,” said Nathan Castillo from Daly City.
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That’s the exact problem California lawmakers are trying to solve, and they want to do it by banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in brick-and-mortar stores.
Senator Jerry Hill, who co-authored the bill, says it’s vital to save the lives of young people.
“We are condemning a generation and addicting a generation and we all recognize the health risk of that,” said Hill.
The ban would include menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes, which are blamed for the surge of vaping among young people.
Some say the ban is necessary to save lives while others say it misses the mark and will hurt businesses.
“We wouldn’t be able to sell anything. This store would obviously close,” said Mike Pasco from Vape Dreams.
Ali Kaplli says he prefers going into a brick and mortar store for his flavored tobacco.
“I don’t have to order anything online or pay shipping and that when I come in I get advice from them. They’re the pros at this,” said Pasco.
In San Francisco, flavored tobacco products are already banned. Samir Shariff from City Smoke & Vape said the ban took about 40% of their sales and thinks it doesn’t reach its goal to save kids.
“From these stores, little stores like us, it’s very hard for youth to get them from here,” he said. “Most the youth will get them online.”
If the ban is signed by the governor and passes, it would go into effect next January.