Officials at a Los Angeles city council meeting Tuesday proposed banning all e-cigarettes and vaping devices until they are deemed safe by the federal Food and Drug Administration, according to reports.
The potential move would follow places like San Francisco and Massachusetts that have enacted similar e-cigarette bans in the wake of a spate of lung illnesses thought to be linked to the products, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“The reports of illness and death caused by unregulated vaping devices is a public health crisis,” the motion introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz reads. “Los Angeles is not content to wait and do nothing as the numbers of illnesses and even deaths associated with unregulated vaping devices increases daily.”
Los Angeles County has already banned flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes, something states like Michigan and New York have done and the Trump administration supports.
At least 18 people have died from the recent lung illnesses, but the cause remains a bit of a mystery, according to The Times.
Experts who oppose the bans say that they will just push smokers trying to quit back to using cigarettes or illegal products.
“What bans like this are likely to do is increase the use of illicit products and decrease regulation, which ironically will expand the use of the products that are causing folks to get sick,” Northeastern University Professor Leo Beletsky told The Times.