SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - The City Council in Solana Beach wants to make it illegal to sell any kind of flavored tobacco within the city.
"What we're doing right now is a reaction to what is literally an epidemic," says Councilmember David Zito.
He says the Council has seen the numbers from the CDC and other health agencies showing a rise in underage smoking, mostly related to the increase in e-cigarettes. That's why they're taking such a drastic step.
"This is not a safe thing to do and we need to take these kind of precautions," says Zito.
Under the proposed ban, stores in Solana Beach wouldn't be allowed to sell any kind of flavored tobacco. That means menthol cigars, flavored hookah tobacco, flavored cigars, e-cigarettes or anything else that has a "distinguishable tast or aroma or both, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco, imparted by a Tobacco Product or any byproduct produced by the Tobacco Product."
Right now, the ban would only affect a small handful of stores in the city. The two gas stations within Solana Beach already limit their sales of flavored products to just menthol. There are a few other convenience stores that sell e-cigarettes and other flavored products. One business owner told 10News they're a top seller.
Zito says the move would help educate people about the dangers of flavored tobacco.
"Part of it is just doing the little bit that we can, part of it is just advocating for what we think the responsible thing is to do and getting the message out."