City of San Clemente tries to tackle vaping crisis

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Smoke shop located on El Camino Real in San Clemente (Photo by Owen Simler).

By Tessa Van Winkle | Writer

October 10, 2019

The tobacco industry has lured teens into using their vaping products by making their devices with enticing flavors. Out of every five kids who have used tobacco, four began their road to addiction with flavored products. Unfortunately, the younger generations are not knowledgeable about the consequences of nicotine use. Nicotine is a toxic poison that can cause addiction and permanent damage to the brain. By being unaware of how serious the risk factors are, young people fall victim to its allure and become addicted. 

With recent vaping-related deaths in teenagers nationwide, concerns about this trend have been growing and there are attempts being made to better regulate smoking and vaping sales. Since vaping came on the market, there have been a reported 1,080 vaping illnesses and 24 deaths within the United States alone. Many states have enacted vaping bans and are looking at other ways to stop this epidemic.

Another popular smoke shop in San Clemente located on El Camino Real (Photo by Owen Simler).

In the town of San Clemente, the City Council is working to pass an ordinance that will require tobacco and smoke shops to maintain a distance of at least 500 feet from parks and schools. Some people question whether this will be an effective protocol in cutting down or preventing vaping by the young people of San Clemente.

“At this point, the usage of vapes has advanced so far that I don’t think the location will matter,” San Clemente High School senior Dani Reinicke said. “They are accessible to almost everyone and almost all ages are able to get their hands on one somehow.”

If moving smoke shops farther away from schools and parks won’t make a difference, what other alternatives do we have?

“I think one of the best ways to stop it though is through education of young people,” senior Natalie Cooke said. “Educating on the devastating effects of vaping and helping them understand that the same could happen to them.”

Sadly, even with an increased effort to educate young people about the dangers of vaping, it will be difficult to combat the peer pressure to vape and the tendency of teens to think that they are invincible; bad things will always happen to someone else, never to them.

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