Councilman Pete Ballew told his fellow councillors: “I don’t think this ordinance is about catching people selling cigarettes, and I really don’t think it’s about catching kids buying cigarettes; I think it’s bigger than that. This ordinance, to me, is about de-normalising the use of tobacco.”
Plain and simple, this isn’t about the science or evidence – Ballew’s motivations are grounded in a zealotry that believes nobody should have the choice to smoke…or do anything that looks like smoking.
Councilwoman Corina Lopez opposed the ban: “I just ask that we really keep an open mind here and support each other because I think we’re all really well-intentioned and want what’s best for the community, youth and adults. We really want to have a community that is thriving and healthy.”
Stores will have to apply for a licence to sell eliquids. Breaking the new law will result in a written warning. Getting caught a second time will land the vendor with a $2,500 fine. A third infraction will see the vendor banned from making any tobacco-based (and for that read vape) sales for 20 days. A fourth offence will see vendors banned from selling vape products for three years.
Will this result in the region’s vapers being unable to vape flavoured liquids? Absolutely not. All local Bricks & Mortar sales will simply be driven online or vapers will pop across state lines. The ban will be as unenforceable as it is stupid.
Jerry Garcia sits on the San Leandro Board of the Chamber of Commerce, he said: “If you want to save kids, take them off of Twinkies, sugars, soda and all of these other things that kill people. This is America; people have a right to pick their own vices, and they’re all over the place.”
Latest findings from the Yale School of Public Health should give these anti-vape fanatics pause for though. Researchers state that if the Food and Drug Administration instituted a national ban on flavours then e-cigarette use would decline by more than 10%. Also, such a move would turn ex-smokers who vape back to traditional tobacco cigarettes – clearly a retrograde step.
While not telling policy makers what to do, the research team demonstrated that ill-considered bans on eliquid flavours will do nothing other than drive vapers to do the opposite that law makers desire – to increase the rate of smoking.