Flavored Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products

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PROPOSED CHANGE TO CITY CODE REGARDING FLAVORED TOBACCO AND VAPES

The City of Monterey has approved an amendment to current city code that bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products and all flavored vape products from all establishments within city limits, with one exemption for the continued on-site consumption of flavored shisha tobacco at the existing hookah lounge. 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.

SUMMARY OF PUBLIC HEARINGS

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.

On Tuesday, June 21, 2022 and Wednesday, June 29, 2022, the first reading of the ordinance took place at a regular and special City Council meeting. City Council requested that staff provide additional information on the use of flavored hookah tobacco.

The second agenda reading to City Council took place on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 during the 4pm session and a new draft of the ordinance was presented to council which creates an exemption for on-site consumption of flavored shisha tobacco at Monterey's existing hookah lounge.

The final agenda reading to City Council took place on Tuesday, August 3, 2022 during the 4pm session and the ordinance was passed unanimously.

PROPOSED CHANGE TO CITY CODE REGARDING FLAVORED TOBACCO AND VAPES

The City of Monterey has approved an amendment to current city code that bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products and all flavored vape products from all establishments within city limits, with one exemption for the continued on-site consumption of flavored shisha tobacco at the existing hookah lounge. 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.

SUMMARY OF PUBLIC HEARINGS

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.

On Tuesday, June 21, 2022 and Wednesday, June 29, 2022, the first reading of the ordinance took place at a regular and special City Council meeting. City Council requested that staff provide additional information on the use of flavored hookah tobacco.

The second agenda reading to City Council took place on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 during the 4pm session and a new draft of the ordinance was presented to council which creates an exemption for on-site consumption of flavored shisha tobacco at Monterey's existing hookah lounge.

The final agenda reading to City Council took place on Tuesday, August 3, 2022 during the 4pm session and the ordinance was passed unanimously.

Your Comments

Please share your thoughts on this proposed ordinance or the topic of flavored tobacco and vape products in general.

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On behalf of Breathe California, a non-profit organization advocating for better lung health in the Bay Area, Golden Gate, and Central Coast. We are writing to you to respond towards the proposed ordinance, which would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products- including menthol cigarettes and flavored e-liquid- and disposable electronic smoking devices within the city of Monterey. Tobacco companies target our nation’s youth by promoting appealing advertisements of flavored tobacco. Unaware of the harmful effects of smoking, adolescents can easily be influenced at a young age and continue to be lifelong smokers. If current tobacco trends continue to rise, an estimated 5.6 million of today’s youth will face dire consequences of premature death by smoking- related diseases. It is important that the City Council of Monterey passes the ban of flavored tobacco products to stop further contribution of our nation’s youth vaping epidemic.

jacklin 28 days ago

I support the ban on ALL flavored tobacco, hookah, and cannabis. These products unfairly target youth. In addition I support banning one time use cannabis packaging formats that have disproportionate negative environmental impacts over other formats.

I certainly also support protecting the rights of smokers to consume and enjoy products in the privacy of their own home. Current law makes illegal to smoke cannabis in public and yet this is rarely enforced. We need to balance the consumption rights of users with the public health impacts of waste and second hand smoke. So much more more work needs to be done in this area. Please also consider banning smoking in public places in the future for tobacco in order to protect residents from the KNOWN dangerous effects of second hand smoke.

MBM 2 months ago

On behalf of Blue Zones Project Monterey County, thank you for considering a ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco/vape products and single-use disposable electronic devices through an amendment to the City’s code. We enthusiastically support this action and believe it will set an example for other cities in the county to follow your lead. It is particularly important, given the proximity of our coastal cities, that these harmful substances are banned cross-municipality.

In 2019, the California Department of Public Health issued a health advisory urging citizens to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source. Vaping is not a healthy alternative to regular tobacco use and flavored vape products are the number one product used by high school students. There are more than 15,000 tobacco product flavors on the market and electronic cigarettes, often disguised as USB drives or highlighter pens, are marketed specifically to youth in appealing flavors. Youth who smoke e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes than kids that never tried them.

While the Blue Zones Project initiative works across Monterey County to support the health and wellbeing of all residents, one of our offices is in downtown Monterey – making this all the more relevant.

Thank you for your attention to this important topic and we look forward to supporting once it gets on the Council agenda.

Tanja Roos | Blue Zones Project Monterey County
Community Program Manager, Peninsula Cities

Blue Zones Project Monterey County 4 months ago

I am a resident and volunteer with Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes. I would like to express my very strong support for ending the sale of flavored tobacco in the City of Monterey. Monterey County, Pacific Grove, and many other surrounding areas have already taken up this issue. As city leaders, I ask you to protect the kids of Monterey too. Please do not allow our city to become an island where people come to purchase poison and get trapped in the cycle of nicotine addiction. Please help us protect future generations by removing these dangerous starter products from our community.

PGResident 4 months ago

The proposed new regulations regarding Flavored Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products sound reasonable and the right thing to do. We don't need cancer causing items attracting usage by individuals young or old, resident or visitor.

NMBob 4 months ago

I do not support any amendment to the ban on flavored tobacco and vape products. They are harmful to our health and environment.

MontereyLocal 4 months ago

Total concur with proposed ban. It’s a public health issue.

Sunny 4 months ago

We are parents of a Monterey 17 year old addicted to nicotine and vaping. Even though you have to be 21 to purchase it the prevalence and avaiabiltiy is astonishing and is really damaging our child and so many others. Going to a vape shop in PG near the high school, gas stations, and almost anywhere. They do not ask for ID or age confirmation. Please move forward with the ban and encourage a ban across the entire peninsula and state. Thank you

MontereyParent 4 months ago

I support banning all tobacco products 100%. Their negative health impacts are well-known and documented, and they are terrible for the environment. My father died of emphysema and contributed to the lung issues that my mother is currently suffering from, so I have firsthand experience with the affects of these products on those who use them as well as those around them. Please save us and future generations from the debilitating addiction to tobacco!

MBLocal 4 months ago

PLEASE BAN ALL FLAVORED TOBACCO AND VAPE PRODUCTS. They have not proven to help people give up smoking regular tobacco and are only a new way to hook our youth. And the e-cigarette waste is HARMFUL TO OUR ENVIRONMENT!!! Please protect us all from these horrible products.

Nrunyon 4 months ago
Page last updated: 03 Aug 2022, 11:45 AM