Mayor Jim Kenney announces crafting of new bill to stop kids from vaping

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney vowed to get vaping products out of the hands of teens in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

"Kids are drawn to using e-cigarettes by their fruit, candy and mint flavors and then they get hooked by the high levels of nicotine," Kenney said.

To stop that, he and several other city leaders announced the crafting of a bill that will be introduced to City Council on Thursday.

Its goal is simple: stop kids from vaping.

It's also aimed to shield them from the marketing techniques designed by vaping companies.

Kenney says they'll be targeting anyone who can sell the products.

"Under this bill, e-cigarettes that have flavor or high levels of nicotine will only be allowed to be sold in stores that do not allow children to enter the premises," Kenney said.

Kenney also said they've also accounted for those who are using vape products to quit tobacco.

"Adults smokers who want to use e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking will be able to buy lower nicotine, tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes in any store with a tobacco sales permit," said Kenney.

City leaders say they believe 12 people so far have fallen ill due to the effects of vaping. They add the chemicals inside the products simply aren't regulated and it's too dangerous for kids.

They say the proof is in what's now considered a nation-wide epidemic of people of all ages falling ill and some even dying due to vaping.

But at the same time, the city wants adults to have the freedom to make choices for themselves. That's why they're not banning the sale of the products altogether.

City leaders also say they're prepared if the companies who sell these products, don't like their decision, should the bill pass.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley said, "It was done aware of the risks of preemption. But on the other hand, we feel we have to act. So if companies want to take us to court, take us to court. We believe this is the right thing to do to protect our children."

Should the bill pass, Mayor Kenney says it would take effect immediately.
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