Flavored tobacco products are popular with young people, even though doctors say they can be harmful to their health.
“They are introducing these products as bubble gum cigarettes, or something has as labeled as ‘safe’. These products are not being proved are safe,” said Dr. John Gordon Harold, president of the American Heart Association Board. “Nicotine is an addicted agent. These products were suppose to treat adults into a smoking cessation program, but now there’s a whole generation become addicted.”
Doctor Harold says it is time to act now.
"This is an entry point for young people to get start on a road. But we don't want to get to the point that pulling kids away from addition. we want to prevent that at the gate," he said.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, last year one in four kids in high school and one in 14 in middle school used tobacco. That’s almost five million teenagers.
Today LA City Council voted unanimously to investigate ways to cut the sale of flavored tobacco products to young people.
Tamra fontaine is 58 years old. She started smoking when she was seven. She supports restricting sales of flavored products to young people.
“The more flavors they put on, and the more younger people would try, especially e-cigarettes,” she said.
Any restrictions by the City of Los Angeles will focus on retail stores. Young people can still buy these products online.