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Arroyo Grande City Council to consider ban on sale of vape products and devices

Posted at 6:50 AM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 10:20:42-04

The City of Arroyo Grande could become the first in San Luis Obispo County to ban the sale of vape products and devices.

The Arroyo Grande City Council will discuss the potential ban at its Tuesday night meeting.

Mayor Caren Russom, who is also a mother and a teacher, brought the issue to the council at last month's meeting after noticing the widespread use of vapes by teenagers in school and her community.

"I'd like to see this city be the first in the county," Russom said to the council last month. "I don't believe we'll be the last one to stand up for our kids and families and say not in our house."

Russom told her fellow council members she's personally seen students using vape products in the classroom and said the ban is necessary to keep e-cigarettes from getting into the hands of kids.

"To just say we're going to restrict sales of this product or that product or step up enforcement is not enough," Russom said. "This city and this county has been on the forefront of health issues in the past. Arroyo Grande was the first city to go to recycling in the county here and that's a nothing thing, we don't even think of it any more."

Though she can't confirm they all sell vaping products, Russom said 14 businesses in Arroyo Grande are licensed to sell tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Filed in Tuesday's agenda packet is a copy of the ban on vaping sales passed in San Francisco in June.

The Council will also consider an ordinance prohibiting the people under age 21 from possessing all tobacco products, including vapes.

"Smoking tobacco, marijuana use, any time someone ingests something straight into their lungs, there can possibly be a not healthy result," Arroyo Grande Councilman Keith Storon said. "So I think it's a bigger conversation about how much do we regulate and particularly with our youth because I think the scientific evidence is very concerning."

The City of Morro Bay is considering a number of restrictions on the use and sale of vaping products. Those potential restrictions will be discussed further at the next Morro Bay City Council meeting.

Atascadero city leaders passed in September a ban on the use of vapes in just about all public places.