WCC Letter of Support for VUSD Tobacco Ordinance

The Ventura City Council will be hearing arguments on the creation of a city ordinance regarding flavored tobacco products on Monday, April 15th 2019. The Westside Community Council is in full support of this ordinance and the Board of Directors have written a letter of support:

To: City of Ventura City Councilmembers,

The Westside Community Council Board of Directors have voted unanimously to support the Ventura Unified School Board’s resolution to set a Citywide Tobacco Retail Licensing Ordinance that insures tobacco shops do not advertise or sell their tobacco products to young people and prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products in the City of Ventura.

Ventura has over 100 tobacco retailers and many of them are located here on the Westside. As residents of the Westside, we are worried that our younger population will develop an addiction to nicotine but the use of flavored tobacco products. JUUL Pods, which is the popular brand among young people, have over 20 times that amount of nicotine in a single pod than one cigarette. These JUUL Pods come in a variety of flavors that kids are drawn to like, but not limited to fruit punch, mint, mango, bubble gum, and cucumber. According to www.tobaccofreekids.org, research shows that flavors play a key role in youth use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

 One of the main tenets to the Westside Community Council is the promotion safety in our community. We feel these tobacco products are very detrimental to our community and the pose a significant health risk to our youth. A 2016 Surgeon General’s report concluded that youth use of nicotine in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe, causes addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain. A growing number of studies have found that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become smokers, and many are low-risk youth who would not have otherwise smoked cigarettes. A January 2018 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded, “There is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use increases risk of ever using combustible tobacco cigarettes among youth and young adults.”

 We ask that the Ventura City Council approve of the Ventura Unified School Board’s resolution to set a Citywide Tobacco Retail Licensing Ordinance and support keeping our kids away from tobacco.