Burbank City Council debates possible ordinance banning sale of flavored tobacco

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- The Burbank City Council on Tuesday debated a possible ordinance that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco in the city.

During the meeting, the council voted to pass the first reading of an ordinance that would ban flavored tobacco products, with an exemption for hookah bars.

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Dr. Tomas Torices, the executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Southern California, says 90% of adult smokers began smoking before they were 18, and 80% who tried vaping products tried the flavor product.

"Nicotine is extremely addictive in teens because of their developing brain and as a consequence we have pediatricians prescribing smoking cessation products," he said during the meeting.

The California Department of Public Health is urging everyone to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source, until current investigations are complete.

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One Burbank high school teacher says she's against a ban on flavored vaping products since her family is in the tobacco industry. She says everyone needs to work together.

"I'm able to see both sides of this argument working mostly with seniors and juniors in high school," said Diane Grair. "I see that a vaping epidemic is among us, but a ban is not the solution."

Others say a ban only forces people to buy from other places where there is no regulation.

Earlier in the day, people in support of vaping protested in downtown Los Angeles, while more than 200 others -- including students and parents -- rallied in support of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors' vote to advance an ordinance to stop the sale of flavored tobacco in L.A.

The final vote on that ordinance is scheduled for Oct. 1.
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