Inyo Register

Office of Education urges yes vote on Prop 31

Superinten­dent says vaping measure would protect students


There is a vaping epidemic in Inyo County schools and across California. Millions of middle and high school students across the state are hooked; and in California 90% of student tobacco users prefer flavored products.

Candy-flavored tobacco products play the main role in hooking new, young smokers because their flavors and packaging appeal to children. Each year 6,800 California youth become new daily vapers and of those new daily users, four out of five started with a flavored product, this according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Associatio­n. More than 70% of vape users, ages 12-17, say they use because vapes “come in flavors they like.”

This is true in Inyo County as well. According to the California Healthy Kids Survey, administer­ed in different grade levels at all school sites, more than 25% of the 7th-, 9thand 11th-grade student currently use vapes.

For the students in more non-traditiona­l school sites, such as Palisade Glacier and

JKBS, that number jumps up to 67%.

Inyo County Superinten­dent Barry Simpson says, “These numbers are simply unacceptab­le.”

“It’s very misleading when kids hear about flavored tobacco products that have names like candy flavors,” Simpson said. “It severely increases the risk that our students face by trying these products. Simply put, it’s the flavors that hook kids.”

Propositio­n 31

Two years ago, the state Legislatur­e passed SB 793, banning the sale of flavored tobacco products across the state. But after the governor signed the bipartisan legislatio­n into law, several tobacco manufactur­ers collected enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot.

Consequent­ly, the law has been suspended until it goes before voters.

Propositio­n 31 on the Nov. 8 ballot would end the sale of candy-flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, statewide. The propositio­n is a referendum which challenges SB 793, a bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law last year, banning stores from selling flavored e-cigarettes, menthol-flavored e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products in California. A YES vote keeps that ban as California law.

“Tobacco companies will use every dirty, deceptive trick in their playbook so they can keep hooking kids on nicotine for massive profit,” Simpson added. “It’s time for California to stand up and say YES we will vote in November to get rid of candy-flavored e-cigarettes and minty-menthol cigarettes for good.”

This is California voters’ chance to send tobacco companies a message. Vote YES on Proposit ion 31. Vote YES to ban flavored tobacco products!

For more informatio­n on Propositio­n 31 or the dangers of vaping look at Yes on 31 to Protect California Kids (voteyeson3­ and Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults from the CDC.

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