In an effort to curtail the epidemic of teen use of highly addictive vaping products, a Senate committee voted on March 27th to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in California.

Flavored tobacco-less electronic cigarettes contain high levels of addictive nicotine as well as other harmful chemicals.

The bill, SB 38, by Senators Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, was approved by an 8-1 vote in the Senate Health Committee, now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“Students who recently came to my office told me that flavored vaping is sadly becoming the rage among middle school and high school kids,” Glazer said. “They said they are even vaping at schools: in hallways, on the playgrounds, and in the classroom.”

E-cigarettes come in sweet flavors: cotton candy, bubble gum, mango and others, all in an effort to appeal to youth. According to a Nov. 2018 report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of young people who have ever used tobacco started with a flavored product.

“We must stop marketing these dangerous products to children,” Glazer said. “It is an epidemic that requires urgent action.”

Manufacturers argue that tobacco-less e-cigarettes provide smokers a chance to quit tobacco. But, a 2018 study by Dartmouth University showed that for every adult cigarette smoker who quit after smoking e-cigarettes, more than 80 young people who used vaping devices went on to become daily tobacco smokers.

The report by the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also showed that 3.6 million middle and high school students are using e-cigarettes. This is an increase of 1.5 million compared to 2017 and almost 13 times higher than the number of youth using e-cigarettes in 2011.