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City of SLO’s e-cigarette sales ban goes into effect

Posted at 7:39 PM, Oct 12, 2020

Earlier this year, the San Luis Obispo City Council voted unanimously to approve a ban on some e-cigarette products.

After being delayed, it went into effect on September 1.

While not everyone is on board with the ban, San Luis Obispo County resident and father Rick Rosen said, "E-cigarettes are a new way to get young people hooked on tobacco products." He went on to say that he is "glad to see action is being taken to protect the health of our young people."

In a statement, the City of San Luis Obispo's Assistant to the City Manager Ryan Betz writes,

"The City’s overall goal is to work with Tobacco Retailers on fully complying with local and state tobacco regulations. The issue of regulating the sale of electronic cigarette products was based upon input from the community. Throughout the public engagement process with the community, many community members spoke of how popular these products have become among the youth and a desire to limit that access. The City’s approach follows a number of other cities across the State, within the County and even the County of San Luis Obispo has adopted similar regulations."

City officials say it's their goal to work with tobacco retailers on compliance moving forward.

San Luis Obispo County resident Beverly Lindberg believes that the ban will "lead to a more conscious and healthy community."

"We live in this beautiful place, we want to take care of our health and that is one way to do it," she said.

According to the city, a tobacco retailer that sells electronic cigarette products could face a $100 administrative citation fee for the first offense, a $500 citation fee for the second, and a $1,000 citation for the third offense.

The city says it will be up to the police department to conduct periodic compliance checks.

KSBY News reached out to several smoke shop owners about the ban, and while they did not want to interview on camera, several mentioned their concerns about the ban hurting their business, saying that people will go to neighboring towns to purchase e-cigarette products instead.

Arroyo Grande and the County of San Luis Obispo have also banned sales of some e-cigarette products.