Goodyear is leading the charge in the state to protect minors from accessing vaping and tobacco products.
The Goodyear City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Monday night raising the legal age to buy vaping products to 21 from 18.
The city is the first in the Valley to pass a directive against the sales of electronic cigarettes, tobacco and related devices and products.
“Vaping has taken the nation by storm … Our children are getting sick and our people are dying,” Mayor Georgia said in a prepared video statement Monday.
“We have to take action.”
The Centers for Disease Control began warning about vaping-related illnesses in August. The Arizona Department of Health Services has confirmed three cases of vaping-related illnesses. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting.
The U.S. surgeon general reported last year more than 3.6 million youth use e-cigarettes. Statistics say that 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students are consumers of e-cigarettes. The reports in the past year show use of e-cigarettes by middle schoolers spiked 48%. And in high schoolers, it is up 78%.
The new Goodyear statute extends the city’s smoking location restrictions to vaping. These products will not be allowed in city buildings or vehicles, parks and trails, and enclosed public places. Vaping will also be prohibited at schools.
“While it may not make everyone happy, it will keep Goodyear safe and that’s what matters most,” Lord said in the statement.
City leaders will offer a 90-day grace period and will begin a public education campaign informing the community of the new ordinance.
Violators will face the following if found guilty:
- A fine not exceeding $500 plus surcharges for a 1st violation within any 24-month period
- A fine not exceeding $1,000 plus surcharges for a 2nd violation within any 24-month period
- A fine not exceeding $2,500 plus surcharges for a 3rd violation within any 24-month period
- Any enterprise found guilty of the requirements of this section shall also be guilty of a misdemeanor, and punishable by a fine not to exceed $20,000