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Mayor Durkan: ‘It’s time’ to discuss ban on e-cigarettes in Seattle

(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

On the heels of San Francisco passing a ban on the sale of Juul products and e-cigarettes, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her intent to look into a similar ban for Seattle.

Legislature approves bill raising state smoking, vaping age to 21

“Bold move by San Francisco. It’s time to have this discussion in Seattle,” she Tweeted out Wednesday.

San Francisco passed the measure as a means to combat an increase in teen smoking. Recent data claims that while the overall teen smoking rate is at an all-time low, 20 percent of high school students and 5 percent of middle schoolers use e-cigarettes. Overall, that marks a 78 percent increase year-over-year.

UCSF doctor and leading expert on nicotine Neal Benowitz labeled a blanket ban on e-cigarettes “terrible,” calling that data deceptive.

“It’s well intentioned, but the people who voted on it really didn’t hear the full story,” Benowitz told The New York Times, pointing out that a large portion of young people use e-cigarettes less than 10 days a month.

Skagit County mulls ban on smoking, vaping in public areas

Meanwhile in Washington, the state recently raised the age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21.

“(Washington) led the way battling Big Tobacco & cutting smoking. We cannot afford to go backwards,” said Mayor Durkan.

It’s unclear what exact steps Durkan or Seattle City Council will take from here, but the measure will likely stir up debate as it continues to be discussed.

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