SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (KION-TV)-- During its June 15 meeting, the Scotts Valley City Council voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. This ban goes into effect on July 15, 2022.
This ban covers products with "a taste or smell other than the taste or smell of tobacco." Which includes candy and fruit-flavored electronic smoking devices or e-cigs.
"I'm grateful to the Council for their commitment to these issues," said Rachel Kippen, Co-Chair of the Santa Cruz County Tobacco Education Coalition. "Scotts Valley City leaders began this important work in 2020 but were interrupted by the Covid pandemic and the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. In spite of these challenges, Council members found time to prioritize the health of Scotts Valley residents. The Coalition commends them for this important step in breaking the cycle of nicotine addiction."
The Coalition works with the Tobacco Education and Prevention Program at the Health Services Agency Public Health Division on education and advocacy for tobacco and public health.
The Journal of the American Medical Association said 80% of young people who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.
"It has been alarming to see the growing popularity of flavored tobacco products, especially electronic devices or vapes," wrote Tanya Krause, Superintendent of the Scotts Valley Unified School District, in a letter to the Council. "We see these products every day in our classrooms, on our playgrounds, in gathering areas, and in our student restrooms. As an educator, I am particularly worried about the impact of nicotine on the developing brain."
The City Council also voted to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas.
Kippen added that smoke-free outdoor dining is "good for health and business." He cited the California Adult Tobacco Survey that says 84% of Californians, including 66% of smokers, prefer dining in smoke-free restaurants with outdoor dining areas.
With this passage, Santa Cruz County becomes the second county in California to have equal protection against the sale of flavored tobacco products across all jurisdictions.