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Mayor Kenney Signs 3 Bills to Restrict Sale of Vaping and Tobacco Products

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed three bills into law on Wednesday to restrict the sale of vaping and tobacco products

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What to Know

  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed three bills into law on Wednesday to restrict the sale of vaping and tobacco products.
  • The first bill restricts the sale of vaping products to adults-only stores that require customers to be at least 18-years-old. The second bill restricts the sale of flavored cigarillos, a short, narrow cigar. The third bill bans vaping on city property.
  • The city plans to phase in the new rules.

Against a backdrop of multiple deaths and a federal warning about the dangers of electronic cigarettes, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed three bills into law on Wednesday to restrict the sale of vaping and tobacco products.

The first bill restricts the sale of vaping products to adults-only stores that require customers to be at least 18-years-old. The second bill restricts the sale of flavored cigarillos, a short, narrow cigar. The third bill bans vaping on city property.

The city plans to phase in the new rules.

The bills come more than two months after the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed the first vaping-related death in the state.

At an Oct. 4 news conference, Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said that the person died in September and that multiple cases of vaping-related lung illnesses had also been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Besides Pennsylvania, vaping-related deaths have also been reported in New Jersey and Delaware.

As of Dec. 10, a total of 2,409 hospitalized e-cigarette or vaping-related cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control nationwide.

The recent spate of vaping cases has prompted states throughout the country to institute bans and other restrictions on electronic cigarettes.

New York and Michigan banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in September. In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency and ordered a four-month ban on the sale of vaping-related products both in-person and online.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, meanwhile, urged people to stop vaping and signed an order creating a task force to examine the issue in the state. In its findings, the task force suggested banning the sale of flavored e-cigarette products, restricting online sales and increasing penalties for retailers who sell vaping products to people under 21.

As the investigations into the deaths and illnesses continue, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration have recommended that people stop using electronic cigarette products altogether, especially those containing THC or bought off the street.

Most patients have reported vaping THC-containing products, according to the CDC. THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets people high.

However, people have also reported vaping a mix of both THC and nicotine or vaping nicotine by itself. "Therefore, the possibility that nicotine-containing products play a role in this outbreak cannot be excluded," the CDC notes.

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