It’s only a matter of weeks before Livermore’s ban on sales of e-cigarettes and vaping products goes into effect, now that Juul ceased seeking a referendum. The new law also bans the sale of any tobacco products within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds, libraries and day care centers, and requires annual licenses from retailers who sell tobacco.
Livermore is doing its part. But the dangers from vaping are still out there. Nationally, 39 people have died and more than 2,000 have suffered serious lung injuries from vaping. Most of those who died were known to use vaping capsules containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. And last week, the Centers for Disease Control linked an oily chemical additive, Vitamin E acetate, to biological samples taken from the injured. The chemical is added as filler to THC vaping capsules in order to stretch profits.
To be clear, nicotine addiction through vaping still remains the more common threat. Vaping is attributed to an increase in teen tobacco use, which had been falling steadily for years. We already know how tobacco contributes to long-term health problems.
Lately, the White House has floated ideas that include eliminating the sale of flavored kid-friendly vape “juice” and creating a federal law banning vaping for anyone under 21. Discussions set between the administration and vaping industry leaders this week may affect whether either of those ideas comes to pass.
Livermore should build on its leadership. It should advocate for state and federal laws to replicate a sensible control of vaping.