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City Councilman Proposes Ban On E-Cigarette Products Throughout LA County

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz Tuesday proposed banning electronic cigarette devices and products from being sold throughout the city.

The ban would put a halt on sales until vaping products are approved by the federal government and deemed safe.

"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 motion noted similar steps San Francisco has already taken in banning e-cigarette products.

As of Oct. 1, there had been more than 1,000 reports of vaping-related illnesses throughout the country and eight deaths associated with vaping nationwide, one of which occurred in Los Angeles County, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The death marked the first overall vaping-related fatality in L.A. County.

All patients reported using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Most patients reported a history of using THC-containing products or cannabis.

A total of 12 cases of vaping-associated pulmonary injury, or VAPI, have been reported in Los Angeles County, officials said. In all but one of those cases, the patients had a "history of using [a] cannabis or marijuana-type product," specifically THC, which is the active chemical in marijuana.

Last month, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer called for a citywide ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products.

"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 then. "Enacting a citywide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products is the best way to safeguard our youth and protect the general public from significant health risks."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which had been using criminal investigators to examine illnesses related to using vaping products, reported that some contained myclobutanil, a fungicide that can transform into hydrogen cyanide when burned.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to adopt an ordinance banning flavored tobacco products, including menthol, and to call on Gov. Gavin Newsom to pass a statewide ban on vaping.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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