Fines considered in Palo Alto for vaping in public

Bay Area

PALO ALTO (KRON) – The City of Palo Alto is looking into how they might fine people for vaping in public. 

It is still unclear if this would be just for minor vaping or for everyone and how much this fine would be, but it’s a discussion that we haven’t really heard in any other city so far. 

All the while, the city did adopt the same ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes that Santa Clara County passed back in November. 

The city believes there is a youth vaping epidemic going on across our country and they think a fine could deter kids from using them in the future. 

City officials say one in six Santa Clara County high school students who buy e-cigarettes in a store report getting them at a vape shop.

There are less than a dozen shops that will be affected by the new ban.

As the city continues to research ways of banning people from vaping in public, they have referred to their current restrictions on people using tobacco in certain public spaces including outdoor dining areas, entryways, parks, and other areas. 

Both the Palo Alto police and Public Works departments enforce this, but city leaders say they don’t have enough resources at this time to enforce vaping too.

They are still working on who the council will direct to enforce the new sale restrictions.

The city is also supporting legislation making it harder for minors to buy e-cig products online. 

In the meantime, the ban on selling these products in stores will go into effect in 2020 and the discussion on fining people vaping will continue into early next year as well.

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