The Santa Clarita City Council will consider defining electronic cigarettes as “smoking” and regulating them the same way regular cigarettes are regulated, when the council meets Tuesday evening.
The council first discussed the subject in April and put the move on hold to allow time for consideration of public comments.
The upshot is that under the draft ordinance, “smoking” (defined as holding, carrying, burning, emitting, inhaling or exhaling) e-cigarettes would be prohibited from places of employment, restaurants and bars, city facilities, city vehicles, public places, and city parks, trails and open spaces – except that they could be used in vaping stores and in “bars and restaurants where explicitly allowed by state law.”
The full staff report appears below. Some highlights:
“Staff has tallied the complaints received by the City regarding the use of ESDs (electronic smoking devices). There were six written complaints and a minimum of 11 verbal complaints. The complaints were primarily regarding use of the devices on public transit and within enclosed public areas, including the mall and public libraries. The changes to the ordinance would prohibit the use of ESDs within all transit vehicles, at transit stations, and within all enclosed public areas, including shopping malls and any library.”
“According to a 2015 study released by the California Department of Health, State Health Officer’s Report on E-Cigarettes: A Community Health Threat, e-cigarettes do not emit water vapor, but instead a concoction of chemicals toxic to human cells in the form of an aerosol. Chemicals in the aerosol travel through the circulatory system to the brain and all organs. Mainstream and second-hand ESD aerosol has been found to contain at least ten chemicals on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.”
“Contrary to claims that ESDs help smokers successfully quit traditional cigarettes, there is no scientific evidence proving these devices are viable as nicotine replacement therapy or a cessation aid.”
“With the mounting evidence that ESDs are quickly becoming the primary method of nicotine delivery to youth, and considering the direct marketing the industry has aimed at children and youth, staff is recommending to restrict ESD use in places frequented by children, including indoor shopping areas, movie theatres, public facilities like the City libraries, and public-owned lands like parks, trails, and open space.”
“As reported by Reuters and NBC news, an increasing number of medical marijuana users are now using ESDs as a method of self-administering marijuana (hash) oil or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) infused wax.”