SOLANA BEACH — Sales of electronic cigarettes and other similar vaping devices will soon be subject to the same restrictions as tobacco, with vendors required to obtain an annual retail license.
The proposed ordinance introduced at the May 28 meeting also includes a handful of restrictions, all of which currently apply to tobacco sales as well.
E-cigs, as they are known, and any other battery-operated devices designed to deliver nicotine, flavors and other substances through an inhaled vapor cannot be sold in vending machines.
They must be purchased with assistance from the vendor, and self-service merchandising will be prohibited.
Distribution of e-cigs and coupons for them will not be allowed on public property, and the products must be sold in the original manufacturer packaging.
Sales to minors are not be allowed.
“The requirements are identical to tobacco restrictions and should be easily implemented by e-cigarette retailers,” according to the staff report.
Council members in March adopted an ordinance that includes e-cigs, hookahs and all other devices designed to simulate smoking within the definition of smoking so they would be prohibited wherever traditional smoking is banned in the city.
The five speakers who addressed council, including former Councilman Joe Kellejian and representatives from the American Lung Association and San Dieguito Alliance for Drug Free Youth, urged council members to adopt the new rules, which they did unanimously.
At a future meeting council will discuss a moratorium on vape bars.
“I think that we need to go a little bit further,” Councilman Peter Zahn said.