The County of Santa Clara
California

Resolution
BOS-2014-18

Under advisement from December 17, 2013 (Item No. 10): Consider recommendations relating to regulation of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). (Public Health Department)

Information

Department:Public Health DepartmentSponsors:
Category:Board Referral

Multiple Recommendations

Possible action:
a. Accept report relating to the feasibility and timeline for incorporating regulation of e-cigarettes into the current tobacco prevention and control Ordinances and Board policies.
b. Adopt Board Policy Resolution amending Board of Supervisors' Policy Manual section 3.47 relating to the County's no-smoking policy, and Direct the Clerk of the Board to include Policy in Board of Supervisors Policy Manual. (Roll Call Vote)
c. Approve Amendment of Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System Policy 810.1 relating to the no-smoking policy, contingent upon the Board of Supervisors' approval of the amendment of Board of Supervisors' Policy Manual section 3.47 relating to the County's no-smoking policy.

Body

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS

There is no impact to the General Fund as a result of accepting the report. Recommendations regarding the creation of any necessary educational materials, including signage, would be covered by existing resources within the Public Health Department. 

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

Santa Clara County has been a leader in protecting the health of its residents, children in particular, from the devastating consequences caused by tobacco use. In 2009, the Board expanded the County’s No Smoking Policy (Board Policy Manual, Section 3.47) to protect the health of all employees, clients and visitors from secondhand smoke exposure. The policy further restricted smoking inside county facilities, created a smoke-free campus at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, including all current and future Valley Health Centers, as well as increased the smoke-free zones surrounding County-owned and leased facilities.

In 2010, the Board adopted three tobacco prevention ordinances (Ordinance NS-300.832, NS-625.5, and NS-625.6) to reduce and prevent tobacco use, particularly among youth, and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in public places, worksites, and in multi-unit residences. Under these ordinances, smoking is banned at the County Fairgrounds, County parks, in or within 30 feet of any outdoor service area, and all indoor and outdoor areas of motels and hotels. The Multi-Unit Residences Ordinance bans smoking in all units and common areas of all multi-unit residences, including apartments, condominiums and townhouses. The Tobacco Retailer Permit Ordinance requires all retailers in the unincorporated areas of the County to obtain and maintain an annual permit to sell tobacco products. The ordinance also restricts future retailers from operating in areas located within 1,000 feet of a school or 500 feet of an existing retailer. Adopting these ordinances helped to pave the road for 12 other cities in Santa Clara County to pass similar types of policy changes, impacting over 1.6 million county residents.

Unfortunately, the rapidly increasing use of e-cigarettes threatens to undo much of the social norm change around tobacco use that has largely resulted from policies like the ones implemented by the County. These policy measures could be undermined by the permitted use of e-cigarettes that produce a smoke-like aerosol in public as well as widespread, unrestricted advertising of such products in ways that have been restricted for cigarettes and other tobacco products for decades.

Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the renormalization of smoking through the use of e-cigarettes. Youth are now witnessing smoking behaviors in public spaces that have been smoke-free for most, if not all, of their life. Youth are also being exposed to e-cigarette advertising on television, something that has been prohibited for decades for traditional tobacco products. The result is that youth are rapidly using e-cigarettes, which come in a variety of flavors, including cherry, grape and chocolate flavors, which cigarette companies have been prohibited from using in traditional cigarettes since 2009.

Despite the lack of regulation at the federal level, many communities across the United States and California have moved forward with prohibiting the use and sale of e-cigarettes in their jurisdictions. Over 100 cities and counties across the United States, including more than 40 counties and cities in California, have placed restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes.

CHILD IMPACT

The onset of tobacco use generally occurs before age 18; therefore, prevention of smoking initiation among children and adolescents is a powerful strategy for preventing much of the illness and mortality associated with tobacco use. If no action is taken, children would continue to be exposed to the use of e-cigarettes and secondhand aerosol, normalizing the action of smoking in public places that were previously smoke-free.

SENIOR IMPACT

If no action is taken, seniors would continue to be exposed to the use of e-cigarettes and secondhand aerosol, normalizing the action of smoking in public places that were previously smoke-free. Observing smoking behavior can also be a trigger for people who are trying to quit smoking.

SUSTAINABILITY IMPLICATIONS

The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.

BACKGROUND

E-cigarettes are a class of electronic and/or battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals through aerosol (commonly referred to as “vapor”) which is inhaled by the user. Most e-cigarettes are manufactured to resemble cigarettes, cigars and pipes, often with a light-emitting diode (LED) light at the tip that mimics the glow of a traditional cigarette.

According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans who had ever used e-cigarettes quadrupled from 2009 to 2010, and 1.2 percent of adults, or nearly three million people, reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes, how they are marketed to the public, and that e-cigarettes can increase nicotine addiction among young people and may lead them to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death[1]. In addition, studies have shown that there are high levels of dual use among users of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes. Also of concern are the results of studies that found those who use e-cigarettes also smoke more conventional cigarettes than smokers not using e-cigarettes, and are much less likely to have stopped smoking.

Allowing the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas undermines hard work done to de-normalize smoking behavior. The use of an e-cigarette in public is virtually indistinguishable from the use of traditional tobacco products in public, prompting possible confusion and concern by County employees and visitors of County facilities. In addition, the e-cigarette aerosol has not been proven safe for inhalation by bystanders.

While the original e-cigarette companies were competing with conventional cigarette companies, all the major cigarette companies are now in the e-cigarette business. E-cigarettes are evolving rapidly and being marketed like cigarettes were in the 1950s and 1960s, including advertising on television and radio, with celebrities serving as spokespersons for e-cigarette brandsE-cigarette manufacturers and retailers are also making unproven health claims about their products by asserting that they are safe or safer than traditional cigarettes and that they can be used as an aid to smoking cessationDespite these aggressively marketed claims, no e-cigarette company has submitted an application to market e-cigarettes as either smoking cessation aids or reduced risk products to the FDA.

The FDA has not yet issued any regulations regarding e-cigarettes and these products are available for purchase in this County. The FDA has determined that since there is no regulation of electronic cigarettes, consumers have no way of accurately knowing the doses of nicotine that they are inhaling when using these products; and, the FDA has warned the public about the potential health risks of using electronic cigarettes and has found carcinogenic chemicals and toxic ingredients in some electronic cigarettes. An FDA laboratory analysis found that e-cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. Because there is little control or regulation of e-cigarette products, the amount of nicotine inhaled with each “puff” may vary substantially, and testing of sample cartridges found that some labeled as nicotine-free in fact had low levels of nicotine.[2] A recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that e-cigarette users get as much nicotine from e-cigarettes as smokers usually get from tobacco cigarettes.[3]

The Surgeon General has found that the chemical nicotine is a powerful pharmacologic agent that acts in the brain and throughout the body and is highly addictive[4], and the use of nicotine may cause or contribute to cardiovascular disease, complications of hypertension, reproductive disorders, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, including peptic ulcer disease and gastro esophageal reflux[5], and immediate adverse physiologic effect after short-term use that are similar to some of the effects seen with tobacco smoke.[6]

E-cigarette packages do not supply any warnings about possible adverse effects on health comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes[7]; and the World Health Organization does not consider e-cigarettes to be a legitimate therapy for smokers trying to quit tobacco[8] as there is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit smoking.

 

Recommendations and Next Steps:

Since December 17, 2013, the Public Health Department has convened two meetings with internal stakeholders, including representatives from Department of Environmental Health, County Counsel and the County Executive’s Office. Additional conversations were conducted with Employee Services Agency, Employee Wellness and the Health and Hospital System Administration.  The internal stakeholder group worked together to review existing County polices and ordinances where regulations of e-cigarettes could be incorporated.  Furthermore, the work group reviewed the current research and efforts across the county, state and nation prior to making the recommendation.  Key highlights include:

·        In 2012, the California State Legislature took up Senate Bill 648 (Corbett), which would restrict the use of e-cigarettes in any area where smoking is currently prohibited.

·        Currently, e-cigarettes may not be legally sold to minors in California[9]. However, no other current regulations impact the sale or use of e-cigarettes in the County.

·        In April 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it intends to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product; however, no actions have been taken to date.

The work group determined that there are two tobacco prevention and control policies that affect internal County policies and facilities: the Board’s No-Smoking Policy and the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System No-Smoking Policy. These policies currently prohibit smoking within any enclosed structure owned or leased by the County, all current and future County-operated health facilities and clinics, extending at least as far as the property line, and at all unenclosed places within 30 feet of any operable doorway, window, vent or other opening into such a building. Smoking is also prohibited in all County vehicles.

1)    Pending the Board’s approval, the County’s No-Smoking Policy (Board Policy Manual, Section 3.47), would be amended to include (1) a definition of smoking that incorporates use of electronic smoking devices (2) a prohibition on selling tobacco products and electronic smoking devices on County owned and operated property; and (3) amendment of no-smoking signage to include the prohibition on use of electronic smoking devices.

2)    Pending the Board’s approval, the SCVHHS No-Smoking Policy (SCVHHS Policy 810.1), would be amended in conformity with the changes proposed to the County’s No-Smoking Policy.

These amendments would prohibit the use of any electronic smoking device (as it is would be defined in our policy), including use with other substances—e.g., cartridges that do not contain nicotine but nevertheless may contain other harmful ingredients (e.g., propylene glycol) and addictive ingredients like lobeline.

The amended draft SCVHHS policy was reviewed by the SCVHHS Executive Management Group.

The internal work group plans to continue to work together to review tobacco prevention and control ordinances, collect data, and conduct public outreach related to the inclusion of electronic smoking devices in regulations affecting external stakeholders.  The plan is to report back on the recommendations at the Health and Hospital Committee meeting on August 13, 2014. 

CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVE ACTION

Failure to accept the report will result in the Committee not receiving the information requested, and result in no change to existing policies, leading to an inability to act upon this critical public health issue.

Attachments:

·        SCVHHS Policy 810 1 attch A (2)              (DOCX)

·        SCVHHS Policy 810 1 - 2 14 14 clean_DRAFT              (DOC)

·        Board Policy Resolution -- E-Cigarettes - 2 14 14 clean_DRAFT              (DOCX)

 


[1] FDA and Public Health Experts Warn about Electronic Cigarettes (July 22, 2009), available at www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm173222.htm.

[2] FDA and Public Health Experts Warn about Electronic Cigarettes (July 22, 2009), available at www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm173222.htm.

[3] Etter, J.F. and Bullen, C. (2011) Saliva cotinine levels in users of electronic cigarettes. European Respiratory Journal. Vol 38, 1219-1220.

[4] The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction, a report of the Surgeon General (1988), available at http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/NN/B/B/Z/D_/nnbbzd.pdf

[5] The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction, a report of the Surgeon General (1988), available at http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/NN/B/B/Z/D_/nnbbzd.pdf

[6] Vardavas CI, Anagnostopoulos N, Kougias M, Evangelopoulou V, Connolly GN, Behrakis PJK. Short-term Pulmonary Effects of Using an Electronic Cigarette. CHEST. 2012;141(6):1400-1406. Doi:10.1378/chest.11-2443.

[7] FDA and Public Health Experts Warn about Electronic Cigarettes (July 22, 2009), available at www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm173222.htm.

[8] World Health Organization, Press Release, “Marketers of electronic cigarettes should halt unproved therapy claims” (September 19, 2008), available at www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2008/pr34/en/index.html

[9] California Health & Safety Code section 119405.

Meeting History

Mar 25, 2014 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Supervisor Yeager requested that Administration contact cities within the County to advise them of County efforts relating to electronic cigarette regulation. Supervisor Chavez also requested Administration to debrief with cities as to the ease or difficulties of implementing and complying with past County Ordinances.

Supervisor Chavez requested that Administration collaborate with the Department of Planning and Development relating to a conditional use for advertising permits, and collaborate with the Santa Clara County Youth Task Force Commission to educate young people relating to electronic cigarette marketing campaigns targeted at minors.

Vice Chair Cortese requested that Administration contact local businesses impacted by proposed electronic cigarette regulation and invite them to participate in the process prior to May 2014.

Supervisor Simitian requested that Administration report to the Board in May 2014 with scientific data to support proposed electronic cigarette regulation.

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Ken Yeager, Supervisor
SECONDER:S. Joseph Simitian, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian

Transcript

Mar 25, 2014 9:00 AMBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting

 

9:40 AMItems 11 and 12 were handled on consent which moves us to item 13, which is the proposed regulation of electronic cigarettes. [speaker not understood], come on forward.
If I may, Mr. President, go ahead and --
Supervisor yeager.
Introduce this item. this was originated from a referral that I did in December and it has gone through many hands and departments. [speaker not understood]. Just to explain to everyone exactly what we'll be doing today, it is to accept the report and then to add e-cigarettes into the county's no smoking policy that affects certainly this building, county buildings, and those that we lease. And then item c covers the santa clara valley health and hospital system, the clinics and the hospital. I think the more important issues are to come. I believe it's going to be in may. Is that right, dan, that you're going to be coming back to us, including e-cigarettes into our very he comprehensive policies that we have on tobacco, particularly when it comes to the selling of tobacco to minors. I think all of us are seeing increased stories and studies that are being done showing the harmful effects of e-cigarettes. We don't really know much about the vapors. It's harder to know exactly of the health impacts of people who inhale the vapors from these e-cigarettes, but we know that they are being very much marketed to youth, and that is a great concern given all of the efforts that we have done to discourage people, particularly minors, from smoking, and then establishing much harsher penalties for convenience stores in particular, but for anyone who sells tobacco to minors. And what we'll be looking at in May is incorporating e-cigarettes into those policies if that should be the desire of the board. Even in yesterday's new york times, if people saw it, the hazards that really are involved with these cigarettes I think is something we as a society are beginning to understand. Nicotine in a liquid form, which is what people often will purchase to be able to put them into the e-cigarettes, is proving to be very, very lethal and very deadly as well. And these are -- the liquid that has become very sweet, tasting like banana or water mellon, or whatever it is that -- other chemical that are put into it to make the cigarettes, e-cigarettes sweeter to smoke, are being sold and purchased and then having other effects as people either spill it on their body or as they take it accidentally, or a child is able to drink it and the very harmful effects. So, as we learn more about this, we're going to be glad that santa clara county is staying ahead of the curve on this. Even though e-cigarettes have certainly been around for a couple years and have increased in their popularity, particularly our -- amongst youth, i'm glad that we're dealing with this issue now. So, with that, Mr. Petty cord, if you have anything else that you would like to add as far as what we're doing today and then what is yet to come. 0001-01-01t00:00:00. 0000000
9:43 AMSupervisor yeager that is an excellent overview. To my right nicole cox who is really our technical expert on bringing these proposals forward today. To my left is jenny lam and behind me Dr. Sarah cody who can answer clinical medical type questions you have. So, before you today is the action item to essentially adopt by county policy and by hhs policy prohibition of use of electronic cigarettes, by employees, members, visitors as well on our buildings, on our grounds, and in our vehicles. As supervisor yeager allude today in, in May we plan on bringing back to you recommendations to a medv the county ordinances related to tobacco use in the unincorporated areas of the county to include electronic cigarettes.
9:44 AMI should then ask, dan, I know that when we were adopting our antismoking as a tobacco policies, we were then working with the cities to have them adopt similar policies. It's one of those thing with the e-cigarettes that there's no state regulation of them other than the fact that it's against the law to sell to minors. But because you cannot go into a bar or denny's or really anywhere, public spot, and light up a cigarette, there's no prohibition against doing that at a bar or restaurant now.
9:45 AMThat's correct.
And even though our ordinance, should the board pass it, would include those type of businesses in the unincorporated, certainly wouldn't affect the cities. And I didn't know if we were coordinating some of these -- our efforts by doing all of the legal work that, you know, certainly county counsel did all that work for the cities before so they didn't have is to put additional staff time into that. Are we going to be doing outreach to the cities to have them approve similar policies?
Well, i'll have nicole speak to that and jenny can obviously speak to some of the legal work we've done to help the city.
Great.
Yeah, so, we have already been sharectiontion sharing what the county has been moving on through the health and hospital committee reports and sharing the language counsel has put together because many other cities are you bringing up this issue as something they want to address. Our plan is to share what we have done as a county as a leader and provide it for cities and the research we've compiled already.
9:46 AMGreat.
And we worked on the antismoking [speaker not understood] in 2010 [speaker not understood] cities reached out to our office for legal issues involved. And more recently san mateo county has asked us about the smoking prohibition ines re denses and we're considering that today as well. So, we're happy to coordinate with any cities who have questions [speaker not understood].
It sounds like what you might want to do, dan, if you haven't already, is make contact by phone or letter to the cities and at least advise them. But what we have done, again, I appreciate all of the work by county counsel again. Makes it a lot easier for the cities to adopt the ordinances without having to put in extra staff time because the county has been willing to do that.
Absolutely. thank you.
Those are all of my comments, president wasserman, and happy to answer any questions that my colleagues with will have. Certainly staff can do that as well. [speaker not understood]
9:47 AMThank you, supervisor shad very.
Let me he make the motion to adopt item 13 a, b and c.
Second.
There we go, we have a motion, we have a second. Supervisor chavez.
Thank you. first of all, I wanted to say how much I appreciate ken jumping on this. I think it's really very important. And I wanted to make some observations about our partnership with the cities and maybe think a little bit about what worked well relative to our partnership with them with the cigarette ordinances and what we could learn from that. And I think there May be value in doing the debriefing. We haven't done that with the cities. And the reason is that they all had very different interpretations of what they could and couldn't do in their communities, as you know. And while I would say it was an overall success, I would say that this is an opportunity since we're going back to them to evaluate and get a better sense from them about how the ordinances can be packaged, what kinds of research they really need and what they relied on. Some of what we offered them patched up work and some didn't. There are good reasons for that, and things we can do to accommodate them. The second thing I wanted to make sure we took a look at was how we could work with the planning department across the county as well because what I find most terrifying about this movement is, you know, there's no reason to have a bubble gum, water melon e-cigarette. It's the 31 flavors of getting kids addicted to nicotine. And because of that I think it's very important that we take a look at how cities and counties use their conditional use permits relative to how advertising happens in these different -- in the different stores that sell them. What's at eye level. I know -- so, that's one issue. The other is the tinting of windows, right? If you can't see into an establishment, you don't know how old the patrons are. You don't know what goes on behind those kinds of windows and it makes it difficult for community members who are passing or others to hold themselves accountable. I'd like to make sure we engage the planning department early so that any sorts of next steps really are in partnership with what cities and using our police powers can do best.
9:49 AMThank you for that, supervisor chavez. Those, in fact, are very important strategies and we appreciate you commenting on them.
Thank you. and the last thing I was curious about -- well, not curious. This is just a whole 'nother can of worms so to speak, and that is the issue relative to how marijuana is being used in the same instruments, the vapor pens. I know we're going to be bringing back a discussion relative to marijuana and medical marijuana and the policies of the county, but I think it's really critical that we think about how that connects to any other discussions we're going to have relative to medical marijuana and the uses. And the one comment i'll make about this is that, you know, it's amazing to me how little as adults we May know about how kids are using these and how much information they have. And the reason I say that is [speaker not understood] were having a discussion, we had to literally find the youngest person in the office to say, so, how does this work? And my point is that they've all figured it out and we're behind the folks that we're trying to protect. And, so, the other thing I think might be of value is to reach out to the youth commission and have a conversation with them about the best way to communicate with young people about how -- you know, what the dangers are. And in fact let them know they're being tricked. They're being tricked into a life of addiction by some very [speaker not understood] these companies. In any case, thank you.
9:50 AMThank you. supervisor cortese.
Thank you. I guess this can be directed toward supervisor yeager or the public health department. But a lot of [speaker not understood] have been talking about various outreach that might be done. I'm wondering what the intention is between now and may, it's a pretty short turn around time, in terms of reaching out to the folks who have been [speaker not understood] cooperative with our current ordinance, whether they're restaurants or housing complexes and so forth because [speaker not understood] i'm glad to support this today. It's the first piece dealing with county facilities and operations. It's moving out, you know, into the field of other folk, operators, facilities that are impacted. I'm just wondering what kind of outreach we can get done. It's not because [speaker not understood] necessarily there will be any opposition or anything like that. It would just seem to me that that education process needs to happen quickly. I think supervisor yeager read a comment that you made, what happens when somebody walks into a facility and nobody knows what the rules are. It just seems if we're going to move quickly which might be relatively quickly, May be appropriate here. We really need to get the word out, too. And if, indeed, folks and restaurant operator support it because they don't want different kind of smoking going on in their facility, they want it know that there's rules, how do we get that information out and make them allies the next couple months?
9:52 AMI'll try first and have staff add. I know that when we were looking at our comprehensive antismoking, antitobacco ordinances, we did a great deal of outreach, community outreach, particularly to businesses. I think what makes this a little different now is because we've established the tobacco retail license, which is really the tool that allows us to punish though store that sell to minors, the fact that we're just adding this to it makes it less, certainly less controversial. But I think it mean we don't have to go out there and have the number of meeting that we did before, trying to explain to them what the trl was, how it works, what the [speaker not understood] if you smoke. What the penalty is if you smoke. They understand that. Part of it, too, was not approving other retail stores that are close to I think it's 150 feet from the school, a thousand feet, to be able to operate. So, everything I think has been certainly explained to the business community. This would be added to it. At some point we would need to do outreach to them to explain we're now including e-cigarettes. The other issue that could come up, too, is what about multi-family units. And I know that we worked with the apartment association and with particularly some condo owners up at stanford trying to explain all of this. And maybe Dr. Cody might know, again, you might know it. I don't know if we know as much about, shall we say, secondhand vapor smoke as we do with secondhand smoke, that it was certainly not -- it was understandable that we would -- the reason why we included multi-unit housing is because of the health effects of secondhand smoke. Whether we have enough research that's being done on the vapors that we would want to include that, i'm not sure. My hope is that those areas where we feel very confident that this is in the interest of the public health, that we would include that in May and not hold off on other item where we still need to do more research or more outreach. And if that turns out we're not prepared yet with the science to you haderxctionv whether we need to include multi-unit housing, we can wait on that, but move forward with the other one. I don't know if that helps answer your question.
9:55 AMSupervisor cortese.
Thank you. where it helps me I think [speaker not understood] just occurred here that the database has been established in the other ordinance. I guess it would just be -- instead of just leaving it as a perhaps type of thing, if we could be reassured that when this -- either when next steps come back in may, that the database has been used comprehensively, at least to notify people whether it's by e-mail or, you know, by friendly communications who are on that list already that this is coming, you have an opportunity to be heard, you know. I don't know how much you can say in term of trying to bring them in, invite them into the conversation in a positive way as opposed to having people come in and say, we don't know if it's good or bad. We're just here to ask you to hold this up. That's my fear. I'd like to just take that possibility a much off the table as possible so people feel like they've been invited, they had their opportunity, and it's unlikely that they would come in and ask for more time at that point.
9:56 AMAn interesting thing. I think, you know, businesses sort of like certainty. And the fact that everyone knows you can't light up a cigarette at a restaurant or a bar. E-cigarettes are not yet included in that. Certainly we would have to do outreach to the restaurants and bars and unincorporated area in a way that we didn't have to do with the past ordinances because there was a state law that prohibits that. But I would think that if you're an owner of a restaurant or a bar and somebody comes in and lights up an e-cigarette, what authority do you have to tell them, no, you can't do that, or if another customer complains about it, you know, it's sort of like no man's land at this point. And I think business he are going to want to know what either the county or the city's policy are on this. So, should it become an issue in an establishment they can turn to existing law. As it is now, I don't know if you could really tell someone they have to put out their e-cigarette.
9:57 AMSupervisor simitian.
Thank you, Mr. President. on sort of a related tangent, we had some conversation in our committee about the importance of continuing to gather good data and this is, you know, an emerging issue. The science is still being developed, shared, debated. And, you know, taking a look at the motion, i'm happy to move forward where we do have good information in the record. I want to encourage both our public health team but also our county counsel's office to make sure we do have good information in front of us as we're asked to take these steps. I think we'll be on -- we'll make better decisions if we have complete information. We'll make better decisions if we understand where there is still perhaps not a lot of clarity around some of these issues. And frankly, given the history on smoking issues, going back over the last half century, I think we can expect some push back from people in the industry. And when that time comes, i'd like to make sure county counsel's office can point to good solid information in the record that protects our work and our pocketbook as we move forward on this issue. So, with that understanding, i'm looking forward to voting for measure here.
9:58 AMThank you. and I appreciate the tv stations who are here covering our [speaker not understood] award on crime victims rights, equal pay and women awareness month are also being here for this. We have everyone voted. I have no speaker cards regarding this issue. So, that passes on a 5 nothing unanimous vote. Thank you.
9:59 AMThank you.
Speaking of speaker cards, we do have speaker cards for items 14 and 15, but first we'll have the staff report.