Opinion: San Diego Can Foster Well being Fairness Throughout Black Historical past Month with Flavored Vapes Ban

A teen secretly smoking an e-cigarette. Photograph by way of Pixabay

It’s astounding that 42% of San Diego highschool college students have vaped. Nicotine habit amongst teenagers is on the rise, affecting mind growth, consideration span, reminiscence, and studying functionality.

Fortuitously, San Diegans have an advocate on the Metropolis Council. The Stopping Adolescent Dependancy to Flavored E-Cigarettes ordinance was offered by its creator, Councilmember Marni von Wilpert, on Feb. 9, and can go to the council in early March. The SAAFE ordinance would finish the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, also called vapes. 

It’s not onerous to know why vaping charges have skyrocketed amongst teenagers. Vaping merchandise are extremely addictive and are available in over 10,000 flavors, together with Bitter Gummy Worm, Apple Juice, and Unicorn Poop.

Flavors like these hook youngsters. The SAAFE ordinance is being proposed to guard our youth from the these predatory ways.

Equally vital to notice is the proposal by von Wilpert to incorporate menthol merchandise within the ordinance. Menthol is the unique flavored tobacco and have become the inspiration for predatory advertising and marketing practices.

Earlier than the tobacco business determined to push menthol merchandise into communities of shade, solely 3% of Black people who smoke used menthol. After relentless and voracious advertising and marketing spanning a long time, 85% of Black people who smoke use menthol merchandise.

The African American Tobacco Management Management Council has led the battle towards menthol tobacco merchandise. The council describes menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars as “the primary vectors of loss of life and illness in Black, Brown and different poor communities of shade.”

Within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Omicron surge, nothing might be extra useful in saving Black lives than to get these merchandise out of the Black group.

Public well being and youth serving advocates throughout San Diego rejoice von Wilpert’s management in addressing menthol tobacco and flavored e-cigarettes with the SAAFE ordinance. Set towards the backdrop of Black Historical past Month, it’s an vital step towards well being fairness for all San Diegans.

For extra info or to become involved within the battle towards tobacco, go to SavingBlackLives.org.

Cynthia Knapp is program supervisor for the San Diego Smoke-Free Undertaking at SAY San Diego. Dr. Phillip Gardiner is co-chair of the African American Tobacco Management Management Council.