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County Bans Sale of Tobacco and Cannabis Vaping Products in Contra Costa

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved an ordinance banning the sale of all vaping products in the unincorporated parts of the county.

"This is truly about improving the public health of everybody," said Board Chairman John Gioia.

Dozens of county residents, including many local high school students, spoke in support of the ordinance following a presentation on the health concerns associated with vaping by Contra Costa Health Services officials.

The ordinance applies to both tobacco and cannabis vaping products.

The move comes amid a wave of serious vaping-related lung injuries and deaths across the country. As of last week, 2,051 vaping-related injuries had been reported to the CDC, including 39 deaths. There have been two confirmed cases in Contra Costa County.

The FDA, CDC, and California Department of Public Health have issued health alerts urging everyone to quit vaping altogether, no matter the substance or source.

The popularity of electronic vaping devices has soared among youth, with a national increase of 135% within the past two years. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, 1 in 20 middle school students, as well as 1 in 4 high school students are vaping. A 2016 survey showed that one in three 11th graders in Contra Costa admitted to having vaped.

The Board of Supervisors also voted to expand the prohibition against sales of flavored tobacco products, including menthol, to all unincorporated parts of the county. Previously, the county only prohibited sales of those products for retailers within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, playground, park or library.

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