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Berkeley Takes Extreme Stance Against Electronic Cigarettes

Over the past year, we’ve seen several cities crack down on vaping. Ecigs are now banned in many public places just like tobacco cigarettes. However, no other city can quite compare to Berkeley when it comes to extreme anti-vaping legislation. This city is doing everything possible to wage a war against the ecig industry. Vaping is already banned in public places and city council recently considered banning vaping within 1,000 feet of parks and schools.

Now the latest attack hinges on age requirements. City Councilman Jesse Arreguin has proposed that Berkeley should raise the age restrictions so that ecigs cannot be purchased by anyone under 21. This proposal would basically equate ecigs with alcohol and make them nearly impossible to access even though state law makes it legal to buy ecigs when you are 18. Arreguin believes this is the perfect way to keep vaping devices out of the hands of impressionable young people. He reasoned that ecigs lead teens to start using tobacco products so it’s best to limit them for adult use only.

Of course, Arreguin has apparently overlooked a recent study that revealed that ecigs are 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes. He has also ignored recent studies that prove that vaping does not lead young people to tobacco addiction. In fact, ecigs are most often used as an alternative when people want to avoid tobacco products.

Berkeley already has a reputation for extreme public health policies, but this one is definitely going to cause some controversy. The city council will discuss Arreguin’s proposal at their next meeting on September 15. For now, Arreguin believes this is the right choice for protecting his city. “Berkeley has been a leader in fighting smoking and increasing the age for buying cigarettes would be another step,” he said.

Does Arreguin’s proposal seem a little over the top to you? Should 18-year-old’s have a legal right to buy electronic cigarettes?

Electronic Cigarettes • April 5, 2017

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