The council approved the ban despite warnings
Eager to curb vaping without further harming the local economy, Palo Alto’s elected leaders agonized on Monday night over a seemingly impossible question: How can you ban sales of vaping products without killing off smoke shops that depend on these sales?
After hours of debate, the council voted 4-3 to move ahead with a ban on electronic cigarettes and flavored tobacco. In doing so, it rejected a proposal from city staff to exempt from the ban adult-only stores that would likely have to shutter as a result of the ban. Once the ban takes effect later this year, it would leave Palo Alto with one of the region’s most stringent prohibitions on vaping, effectively banning sales of all vaping equipment and flavored tobacco throughout the city.
The council approved the ban despite warnings from Assistant Public Works Director Phil Bobel that the prohibition will likely put smoke shops out of business, though some may try to stay alive by relying on other products.
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