Opinion: San Diego should ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and flavored e-cigarettes

Regarding “San Diego’s Proposed Ban on Flavored Tobacco Unpopular with Neighborhood Market Owners” (February 9): I would like to thank the San Diego City Council, particularly Marni von Wilpert, for their leadership in the introduction of the sale of flavored tobacco products.

Removing such products from stores reduces addiction to a particularly deadly product in at least two ways. First, children will no longer see them in the stores they visit as a family as they grow up and will no longer see them as a normal part of everyday life. Second, the significant number of people struggling with addiction will no longer have to struggle with cravings every time they walk down the street or need to buy gas.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than half of smokers have tried to quit in the past year.

I hope that this question will soon come before the full council.

Parke Troutman
University heights

San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air (SDPCA) urges the City Council and Mayor to support the ordinance that bans flavored tobacco products, including menthol and e-cigarettes, as amended by Councilman von Wilpert.

Council members von Wilpert and Montgomery have shown leadership. This policy effectively addresses the vaping epidemic and the flavors of tobacco products. A 2019 study found that e-cigarette users had higher levels of nicotine addiction and nicotine addiction than those who smoked cigarettes. For our coalition of pediatricians, we see the real effects of the vaping epidemic in our practices. San Diego kids from all socioeconomic and ethnic groups tell us about the ubiquity of vapes in their schools and their use among their friends. We see clinical effects of vaping on poor pediatric respiratory health, increased referral to addictions services, and effects on pediatric mental health.

SDPCA is committed to efforts to create the healthiest environments for children, which includes strong policies to protect children from flavored tobacco products, including menthol and e-cigarettes. Thank you to our local and state leaders for helping to create the healthiest environment for children in San Diego by reviewing this ordinance with the amendment as soon as possible.

Vi Thuy Nguyen MD, FAAP
Peony Liu MD, FAAP
Naomi Lawrence Reid MD, FAAP
Vivian Nguyen, UC Berkeley

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