More California Cities Preparing to Ban Flavored Tobacco and Vape Products

Young Man Smoking While Standing Against Wall On Sunny Day

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San Francisco has already banned adults from purchasing flavored tobacco and vaping products in 2018. Ironically teen smoking rates increased.

Two other major cities in California are considering similar bans. According to Reason like San Francisco's, the proposed measures in Los Angeles and San Jose are backed by vocal advocates who argue that candy-and-flavored electronic cigarettes and tobacco products are tempting kids to get addicted to nicotine although minors are already prohibited from legally purchasing them.

The city council in San Jose is set to consider the ban sometime this month after postponing a planned vote in June. Meanwhile Los Angeles is drafting its own flavor ban ordinance, and it will likely be brought before the city council before the end of the month. The proposed ban is likely to have perverse, unintended consequences, like in San Francisco.

"San Francisco's flavor ban was associated with more than doubled odds of recent smoking among underage high school students relative to concurrent changes in other districts. The divergence in teen smoking that occurred after the 2018 ban raises concerns that reducing access to flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems may motivate youths who would otherwise vape to substitute smoking." concluded Abigail S. Friedman, a researcher at the Yale School of Public Health.

The ban could nudge nonsmokers toward making less healthy choices, but they also make it harder for smokers to make less dangerous choices. Vaping is an especially powerful anti-smoking tool because it stimulates the act of smoking without any of the health risks. Although there may be many risks with this ban, the two cities are still going to fight to push it through.

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