County proposes crackdown on vape products
Alarmed by a spike in vaping-related illnesses and deaths, on Sept. 30 County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Nathan Fletcher called for a crackdown on products associated with vaping.
They proposed a ban on the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products, along with a moratorium on the sale and distribution of the e-devices.
“Vaping-related illnesses are a grave concern and we must take local action to address this fast-growing public health crisis,” said Jacob, chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors. “Teenagers and young adults have been the hardest hit, and we must stand up to vaping manufacturers that are preying on them for profit.”
The recommendations will initially come to the board on Oct. 15. If the board follows up with a final approval, it would take effect in the county’s unincorporated area.
“E-cigarettes, and in particular the flavored products, are erasing years of progress in reducing teens’ use of tobacco and nicotine,” said Supervisor Fletcher. “Big tobacco is again preying on our kids, and we have an obligation to protect our children and public health. While I respect people’s right to personal choices, there are simply too many unknowns about the danger of these products and too much concerning data about illness and deaths linked to these products.”
State and local public health officials are advising people to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source, as investigations continue into the cause of the crisis.
“Until more is known about what is causing these cases of severe illness, it is important for people to stop using these products,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Help is available for those who want to quit smoking in all forms, and I encourage people to take this important step for their health. If you do not vape, do not start.”
According to federal officials, since Aug. 23 there have been at least 12 confirmed deaths nationwide associated with e-cigarette use, along with more than 800 related lung injury illnesses, most of them since late August as well. As of Sept. 26, there have been 22 confirmed and probable vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI) cases reported among San Diego County residents.
Nearly 2 out of 3 of those affected are 18 to 24 years old. Sixteen percent are under 18.
According to the state Department of Public Health, teenagers and young adults make up about half of the people hospitalized in California as a result of e-cigarette use. In 2018, 1 in 5 high school seniors reported vaping in the past month – almost double the number reported in 2017.
Kiwanis Club revive brick fundraiser program
During the summer of 2014, the Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis Club successfully raised funds for a new community clock at the Triangle on Waring Road and Zion Avenue. They did this by selling personalized engraved bricks.
The first 330 bricks were placed under the new clock and dedicated to the community at the Allied Gardens 60th birthday celebration on Oct. 18, 2014. There are currently more than 550 bricks at the Kiwanis Triangle – but there is still room for many more. Because of the community’s support for this project, the Kiwanis Club has decided to once again sell commemorative bricks that will be installed in time for the holidays.
Each brick, engraved with a personal message, will be permanently displayed in the heart of Allied Gardens. The bricks come in two sizes, 4-by-8-inches for $100 and 8-by-8-inches for $150. Duplicate gift bricks (with felt bottoms) can be purchased for $25 and $50. Logos can be added for an additional $10, or custom logos for $60.
A special section has been designated to remember Patrick Henry High School alumni who have passed. Each “Alumni Angel” brick (8-by-8-inch) is engraved with five to six Henry alumni names. Your classmate or PHHS alumnus can be added for only a nominal fee.
The bricks that are currently in place serve many purposes. Some honor the memory of a loved one, celebrate a special occasion, person, pet, or home. Some advertise local businesses that wish to show their support for the community.
All proceeds from the brick sales will go back to the community through the various Kiwanis community service projects (including support for local schools, youth sports, and Rady Children’s Hospital).
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicating to improving the world one child and one community at a time. For more information the Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis Club, or to order a brick online, visit alliedgardenskiwanis.org.