By Miriam Raftery
East County News Service
October 4, 2019 (San Diego) -- County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Nathan Fletcher are proposing a ban on the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco made for electronic cigarettes, along with a moratorium on the sale and distribution of the e-devices in the county’s unincorporated area. They are encouraging cities in San Diego County to do the same. According to a new report by the Mayo Clinic, lung biopsies reveal damage consistent with chemical burns, leading researchers to suspect chemical additives may be to blame for over 1,000 serious lung injury cases and 18 deaths, all associated with vaping or e-cigarette use.
County public health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are also advising people to stop vaping, as investigators continue looking into what’s causing a nationwide epidemic of respiratory illnesses among those that use the e-cigarettes or vaping products.
Many but not all of the cases involving vaping THC or marijuana products purchased on the black market, however even some legally sold tobacco-based vaping products have been linked to lung damage which may e permanent in some cases.
Teenagers have been the hardest hit. Nearly 2 out of 3 people affected by e-cigarette illnesses are 18-24 years old, according to County News Service.
Supervisors are expected to vote on the vaping product ban on October 15th.
El Cajon will consider restrictions on vaping products on Oct. 8. Lemon Grove and La Mesa are also considering drafting ordinances to address the public health crisis, sources in both cities have told ECM.