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Bay Area Lawmaker's Flavored Tobacco Ban Proposal Would Include Menthol Cigarettes

SAN MATEO (KPIX 5) – A revamped bill in the California legislature aims to go further than the Trump administration's partial ban on e-cigarette pods.

State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) has reintroduced legislation that would ban store sales of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.

"And the reason that this goes beyond what the United States government has done is that it's pretty much ineffective," Hill told KPIX 5. "They're not prohibiting the sale of the flavors in the tobacco products that really entice and addict the young people of California."

Nearly 30 state lawmakers so far have backed the bill, as data shows tremendous growth in e-cigarette use among teens. Between 2017 and 2018, vaping among high school students increased 78 percent, according to the government's National Youth Tobacco Survey.

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"What I see different this year than last year, is the statistics, the health risk, and the health effect and the devastation and the deaths that we've seen around the country and in California from those who have used an e-cigarette," Hill said.

In December, the Centers for Disease Control reported more than 2,500 hospitalizations and more than 50 deaths nationally that are believed to be tied to vaping.

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