Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz proposed Tuesday banning electronic cigarette devices and products from being sold in the city until they’re approved by the federal government and deemed safe.
The move comes on the heels of the first ever vaping-associated death in Los Angeles County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 1,000 reports of vaping-related illnesses throughout the country and eight deaths associated with vaping, as of Oct. 1.
“The reports of illness and death caused by unregulated vaping devices is a public health crisis,” Koretz’s motion says. “The city of Los Angeles is not content to wait and do nothing as the numbers of illnesses and even deaths associated with unregulated vaping devices increases daily.”
The deadly vaping-induced illness is being called ‘vaping-associated pulmonary injury,’ or VAPI, by experts. There have been 12 cases of VAPI thus far, nationwide.
VAPI presents with symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, fever, and may include vomiting and diarrhea. According to the CDC, possible vaping-related illnesses have been reported in more than 25 states. The CDC has advised Americans to stop vaping until the effects are better understood. The CDC has also reported THC-containing products, or cannabis, could also play a role in the outbreak of vaping illnesses.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on the other hand, reported that some vapes contain myclobutanil, a fungicide that can transform into hydrogen cyanide when burned.
Last month, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer called for a citywide ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, calling them a serious health risk among young adults.
“Flavored tobacco plays an outsized role in the vaping epidemic confronting our youth and has long been a factor in increasing demand for traditional tobacco products,” Feuer said.
Feuer’s office sent the Los Angeles City Council a report on anti-vaping measures enacted in other major cities.