Kern County officials are considering a vaping ban following a recent spate of injuries that have been linked to usage of e-cigarettes.

The Kern County Public Health Department is drafting a list of possible actions that could be taken by the Board of Supervisors at their Nov. 5 meeting. The department plans to add some version of a vaping ban to the list, which could also include restrictions on where the devices could be used.

“We are exploring all options to ensure that we can protect public health,” said Public Health Director Matt Constantine. “Other communities have implemented a ban or a limited ban. It is our intention to at least have that discussion.”

While specific details of the potential actions – or even the complete list – have not yet been developed, supervisors could vote on one or more of the options as soon as it is brought before them in November.

The ban could potentially move forward at that date.

“If there’s an imminent danger to our community, I don’t want that to be delayed,” said Supervisor Mike Maggard.

He said the unregulated nature of the liquid used for e-cigarettes, combined with the availability of the product to minors, convinced him that something should be done in Kern County.

“These flavors that are targeted at children, there ought to be some way to do something about that,” he said, adding later, “the vast majority of people, I’m convinced, don’t want our children to be seduced into something that will hurt them for the rest of their life.”

So far, vaping has caused more than 1,000 lung injury cases and 18 deaths across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since Sept. 24, Kern Public Health has logged three hospitalizations that have been associated with vaping, including one that involved a minor.

Health officials have yet to determine a cause for the injuries and deaths. The California Department of Public Health has advised everyone to refrain from vaping until an investigation into the cause of the injuries can be completed.

Both counties of Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the city of San Francisco, have banned the sales of vaping products within municipal borders.

Kern Public Health will consider the bans in those areas when drafting its own potential ban.

The city of Los Angeles has also proposed banning the sales of the devices, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he would sign legislation that would ban the products statewide.

The marketing of vaping products to children, especially girls, has raised alarm among lawmakers, and health officials say that just because e-cigarettes may seem safe, doesn't mean they really are.

“We are concerned that the perception is that this is a safe activity, when in fact the chemicals that are burned and then inhaled are not regulated and the ingredients are not known,” Constantine said. “That presents a strong risk to our community and at the very least they need to be aware of the risks associated with that activity.”

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(18) comments


What a bunch of reactionary fools. People are being harmed by black market products. So what are you banning if the harmful substances are already illegal? You're banning a legitimate and safer alternative to smoking which has caused immeasurable harm and costs to our systems of health care.


Thanks Kern County! I’m glad I don’t have to do any research anymore and trust the choices that you make for me! Good golly I love totalitarianism! (You will receive 100 social credits for this comment. Your family’s organs will not be harvested this week. Remove this message before posting.)


"especially to girls"...what??


You should also ban flavored Vodka and other alcohol alcoholic beverages.

Like hard lemonade

They are being marketed to children's tastes as well.


Whatever they are placing in these generic cigarettes are the worst threat to public health and the confrontations asking folks not to smoke in your private space for health reasons. You have the power to ban any kind of smoking, near schools, any government subsidized structure/place and 25 feet from and public entrance, however, this industry already has a foot hold in society from the lack of initial oversight.

Joey W

Ah another instance of trying to fix a problem but in the end will just make worse. “Hey, let’s ban the legal market so all the people that are vaping legally gravitate to the black market where most or maybe even all the deaths originated from the pre filled THC PODS (not a vaping product technically) bought directly from them and cause many more deaths.” [thumbdown][thumbdown]


It blows my mind how officials refuse to apply practical, obvious, lessons from human history.

Joey W

Ah another instance of trying to fix a problem but in the end will just make worse. “Hey, let’s ban the legal market so all the people that are vaping legally gravitate to the black market where most or maybe all the deaths originated from the pre filled THC PODS (not a vaping product technically) bought directly from them and cause many more deaths.


Do I know it resulted in deaths. Let them do something to eliminate these death traps....


Nice post. Its of high essence to ban these in schools. Let them be free from these till they leave for school times.


But hey, let’s keep abortions around. Those never hurt anybody.


between a woman and her doctor . Her body her choice. Let’s sterilize every man who has had an unwanted baby , couldn’t afford to take care of his child or doesn’t pay child support. That should end abortions real quick.


Same tired rhetoric. How about this slogan “It’s between a plantation owner and his slave trader”, you would’ve been a hoot in the 1800’s. I guess a woman has a male appendage if she is carrying a boy in her womb. Sterilize deadbeat dads on one hand, murder children on the other, yeah, I can go with sterilization, not a difficult choice. None of this actually addressed the content of my comment, but I’m always game to respond to these canned pro-abortion statements.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Copper just regurgitates DNC talking points- still waiting for something resembling an independent thought...


Let's sterilize every man and woman, that should end global warming.......




480,000 smoking related deaths a year in this country and you're going to ban vaping? Yes, join the Wussy parade! Do your research! Vaping is only dangerous when you dont vape verified safe products. Good God people.


Big Tobacco has a powerful lobby.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.