Flavored Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products

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PROPOSED CHANGE TO CITY CODE REGARDING FLAVORED TOBACCO AND VAPES

The City of Monterey is proposing an amendment to current city code that bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, and all other flavored vape products from all establishments within city limits. As a coastal community particularly concerned with preserving our natural environment, this amendment will also ban the sale of all single-use disposable e-cigarette devices.

BACKGROUND

In 2019, more than 5.2 million young people in the United States reported current vape use, including 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students. Vape, or e-cigarette, use has been on the rise since the early 2010s, replacing cigarettes as the tobacco product of choice for teenagers nationwide. Many city and states are mobilizing to combat this growing epidemic among youth, including the state of California which passed Senate Bill 793 in August of 2020. A referendum on the law has since placed it on the November 2022 general election ballot, however cities are free to implement their own policies to limit access to these products and Monterey intends to take action.

While e-cigarette producers tout electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as a healthier alternative for nicotine-addicted adults seeking to reduce their tobacco use, opponents argue ENDS products are marketed towards youth - with fruit and candy flavors and bright, colorful packaging - to hook a whole new generation on addictive tobacco products. In addition to nicotine, vape liquid (also called e-juice) has been found to contain harmful chemicals like lead and formaldehyde. E-juice typically includes cannabis or nicotine, both of which prevent healthy brain development in youth and increase the chances of developing an addiction to tobacco and other harmful substances later in life. Studies have shown that once addicted, teens will turn to other available flavored tobacco products, such as menthol cigarettes or flavored cigarillos, in the absence of flavored vape products.

In addition to the impact these products have on our youth, the components from electronic cigarettes are harmful to the environment. E-cigarette waste is particularly hazardous for the environment due to the bio-chemical waste from the nicotine cartridge and the electronic waste from the battery in addition to the single-use plastic waste from the device casing and pods. Nicotine salts, heavy metals, lead, mercury, and flammable lithium-ion batteries have all been shown to have adverse impacts on waterways, soil, and wildlife. In addition, FEMA released a report on the severity and frequency of e-cigarette battery explosions, describing the consequences for consumers and the environment. While these hazards pertain to all ENDS, the use of single-use disposable e-cigarettes has increased 1000% among high school students between 2019 and 2020. Should that trend continue, these products would have a significant negative impact on our youth and our esteemed natural environment.

Check out related information in the "Important Links" and "Documents" sections.

HAVE YOUR SAY

This initiative was presented to the public for thoughts and feedback during two virtual town hall meetings at 7pm on Monday, April 25, 2022 and 11am on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. The recordings have been added to the News Feed section below.

The first agenda reading to City Council is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 during the 4pm session. Please check this page frequently for schedule updates.

Click on "Community Comments" below to let us know how you feel about this policy proposal before it is brought to Council.

PROPOSED CHANGE TO CITY CODE REGARDING FLAVORED TOBACCO AND VAPES

The City of Monterey is proposing an amendment to current city code that bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, and all other flavored vape products from all establishments within city limits. As a coastal community particularly concerned with preserving our natural environment, this amendment will also ban the sale of all single-use disposable e-cigarette devices.

BACKGROUND

In 2019, more than 5.2 million young people in the United States reported current vape use, including 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students. Vape, or e-cigarette, use has been on the rise since the early 2010s, replacing cigarettes as the tobacco product of choice for teenagers nationwide. Many city and states are mobilizing to combat this growing epidemic among youth, including the state of California which passed Senate Bill 793 in August of 2020. A referendum on the law has since placed it on the November 2022 general election ballot, however cities are free to implement their own policies to limit access to these products and Monterey intends to take action.

While e-cigarette producers tout electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as a healthier alternative for nicotine-addicted adults seeking to reduce their tobacco use, opponents argue ENDS products are marketed towards youth - with fruit and candy flavors and bright, colorful packaging - to hook a whole new generation on addictive tobacco products. In addition to nicotine, vape liquid (also called e-juice) has been found to contain harmful chemicals like lead and formaldehyde. E-juice typically includes cannabis or nicotine, both of which prevent healthy brain development in youth and increase the chances of developing an addiction to tobacco and other harmful substances later in life. Studies have shown that once addicted, teens will turn to other available flavored tobacco products, such as menthol cigarettes or flavored cigarillos, in the absence of flavored vape products.

In addition to the impact these products have on our youth, the components from electronic cigarettes are harmful to the environment. E-cigarette waste is particularly hazardous for the environment due to the bio-chemical waste from the nicotine cartridge and the electronic waste from the battery in addition to the single-use plastic waste from the device casing and pods. Nicotine salts, heavy metals, lead, mercury, and flammable lithium-ion batteries have all been shown to have adverse impacts on waterways, soil, and wildlife. In addition, FEMA released a report on the severity and frequency of e-cigarette battery explosions, describing the consequences for consumers and the environment. While these hazards pertain to all ENDS, the use of single-use disposable e-cigarettes has increased 1000% among high school students between 2019 and 2020. Should that trend continue, these products would have a significant negative impact on our youth and our esteemed natural environment.

Check out related information in the "Important Links" and "Documents" sections.

HAVE YOUR SAY

This initiative was presented to the public for thoughts and feedback during two virtual town hall meetings at 7pm on Monday, April 25, 2022 and 11am on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. The recordings have been added to the News Feed section below.

The first agenda reading to City Council is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 during the 4pm session. Please check this page frequently for schedule updates.

Click on "Community Comments" below to let us know how you feel about this policy proposal before it is brought to Council.

  • Video Recordings of Town Hall Meetings Available

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    The City of Monterey hosted two Town Hall Meetings on April 25 and 26, 2022, on the topic of the proposed ban on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products. Links to both Town Hall Meetings are available on YouTube and can be found here:




  • Join a Virtual Town Hall

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    See the news release from April 14, 2022 for details

    Register for your preferred Town Hall using the links below:

    Monday, April 25, 2022 at 7pm
    https://monterey-org.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_rrdydk5HQVi0-ruJrYzHBA

    Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at 11am
    https://monterey-org.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_SEWUb6GmRa2ZLribBcdALQ

  • Frequently Asked Questions

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    Why is the City of Monterey proposing a flavored tobacco and e-cigarette ordinance?

    The primary drivers of this ordinance are to protect underage populations from harmful substances and minimize pollution to Monterey's unique natural environment.

    What will this ordinance change?

    If approved, flavored tobacco and vape products would no longer be sold within the City of Monterey. This includes menthol cigarettes, flavored e-liquids, and all other forms of flavored tobacco. Single-use disposable e-cigarette devices would also be prohibited. As a result, only refillable and/or modular vape devices and traditional tobacco products without flavors will continue to be sold at all establishments within the City of Monterey.

    Who will be affected if the council approves the ordinance?

    This will only impact tobacco retailers and prevent them from selling flavored products and single-use disposable e-cigarette products outlined in the ordinance. Consumers who are in possession of these products will not be penalized or harassed for usage of these products.

    When will implementation of this policy go into effect?

    Once city staff presents recommendations to the City Council and the council deliberates on the ordinance, it may be added into the city code. Once it is effective, tobacco retailers will have six (6) months to sell their remaining supply of prohibited products before the ordinance is fully enforced.

    How will this be enforced?

    The Monterey County Health Department will continue to monitor tobacco retailers as part of the Tobacco Retailing License program. As complaints are received, the Monterey County Health Department will collaborate with Code Compliance to ensure compliance with the new ordinance, with assistance from the Monterey Police Department if needed.

Page last updated: 29 Jun 2022, 03:28 PM