Temporary ban on new tobacco shops buys El Monte time to ponder underage vape use

El Monte officials are developing unique regulations that apply to vape shops in an aim to help reduce underage use of the electronic nicotine delivery devices.

The problem is that the city’s 2011 tobacco regulations don’t mention vapes, so the products are governed by the same rules as traditional cigarettes. But e-cigarettes present unique public health concerns compared to old-school ones, officials say.

The City Council on Tuesday voted to temporarily halt issuing any new tobacco sales licenses for up to 22 months. The pause will allow city staff to research and develop new regulations while ensuring that no new vape shops open in the interim.

“This gives us time to see what actions we can take on existing establishments and figure out how to develop limitations for future uses,” Mayor Andre Quintero said.

The council’s vote Tuesday was unanimous, with Mayor Pro-Tem Jerry Velasco and Councilwoman Jessica Ancona absent. Staff will also consider possible new rules for hookah lounges.

The council first approved a 45-day ban in March, which was set to expire May 3.

Read more at https://www.sgvtribune.com

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