Sonoma California is a historic city with original Victorian era architecture, dating back to the gold rush. It’s a hub for fine dining and wine. This beautiful city borders the famous Napa Valley. The city of Sonoma will now be known for something else as well as it becomes the first city in America to outright ban the sale of flavored e-liquid.
In a 5-0 vote last week, the city council passed new measures on the sale of Tobacco products. The new measures include all existing tobacco retailers to purchase an additional license for $246, which will fund a youth decoy program to be organized by the city sheriff.
The new law bans the sale of flavored tobacco, like hookah shisha but also includes e-liquid. Because the city council apparently thinks vegetable glycerin is a tobacco product. You can find out exactly what is in e-liquid, and what vegetable glycerin actually is, in this article.
According to councilwoman Madolyn Agrimonti “Adults can do what they want. The purpose of this is to make some of these products less attractive for kids”.
Numerous vape industry advocates spoke in front of the city council before the vote, arguing that it was unfair to group e-liquid in with flavored tobacco. Some residents thought the new measure to be unreasonable, but according to councilwoman Laurie Gallian “I’ve seen the statistics grow within this community, young children are getting their hands on such products”. It was very apparent the council had a bias against vaping, as each member continued to use the broken record argument of protecting children.
This measure sets dangerous precedent for regulations as more cities could follow suit. Industry regulation aside, it hinders current vapers, limiting their access to e-liquid. While making it more difficult for smokers to try vaping as a potential vehicle to quit tobacco.
Many opponents of the new law say its contradictory, and that the logic doesn’t add up. To stop underage children from smoking, they ban e-liquid which contains no tobacco, leaving cigarettes as the only accessible option. As our friend and SFATA’s nor cal chapter president Stefan Didak put it; the council`s message is “ Please stop using flavored vapor products that are considered safer than deadly combustible tobacco, and go by some cigars instead.”
The new law must pass a second vote in September before it officially goes into law, but with the councils very obvious bias, and a unanimous vote its quite clear the new measure will not be repealed.