District 7 City Councilman Cris Medina filed a Council Consideration Request (CCR) today asking for a new city ordinance that will restrict the sale of liquid nicotine and electronic cigarettes to minor children under the age of 18.
"As a father, I am deeply concerned that adolescent children can freely purchase electronic cigarettes in San Antonio. When we envision our kids stopping at a corner store after school, we picture them getting bubble gum, not bubble gum-flavored liquid nicotine," said Councilman Medina.
The proposal asks for citywide restrictions on the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and the possession of electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine by minors.
"This is a serious public health issue," Medina continued. "Over the past few years the number of children using e-cigarettes has grown exponentially and emergency room visits for children poisoned by nicotine has risen dramatically. The liquid nicotine cartridges are actually marked with a skull and crossbones indicating that the contents are poisonous. Children should not have access to poison."
Medina's research found that liquid nicotine is manufactured in China, many of the ingredients are not disclosed, and flavors are being used that would appeal to children like bubble gum, chocolate, cola, and cherry.
"We are fortunate to have many good corporate citizens who are already taking the basic step of limiting sales to minors and I appreciate their efforts. They have proven that this is the right policy from a moral standpoint and that they can still operate at a profit,” said Councilman Medina. “We are not saying retailers cannot sell this product, only that they cannot sell it to 10 year-olds coming home from soccer practice."
The CCR does not alter the existing smoking ordinance in any way. The impact of the CCR is limited to sales to minors and possession by minors of electronic cigarettes.