Goodyear Becomes First City in the Valley to Pass Vaping Law
Tonight, the Goodyear City Council made big strides in the effort to keep young people safe. In a unanimous vote, the council passed a new ordinance aimed at keeping vaping and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, away from those under 21 years of age.
Previously, retailers were prohibited from selling vaping and tobacco products to minors, under the age of 18. Now, retailers cannot sell these products to anyone under 21 and will be required to check identification.
In addition, the new rules amend the current city ordinance in regards to smoking locations and restrictions. Currently, smoking is not allowed in city buildings or vehicles, parks and trails, and enclosed public places including the workplace. Now, vaping will be added to the list. The ordinance also mirrors state law which prohibits vaping or smoking at schools or at school events.
Vaping, has taken the country by storm. The U.S. surgeon general reported a 900% increase in the use of e-cigarettes among high school students between 2011-2015. This trend is continuing to grow. More than 3.6 million kids in our nation admitted to using e-cigarettes in 2018. That amounts to one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students. The use of vape products can impact the lungs, brain development, and cause addiction and behavioral concerns.
The city of Goodyear is the first city in Maricopa County to pass such an ordinance. The city will immediately begin a public educational campaign during a 90-day grace period. This educational campaign will consist of identifying local businesses who sell these products, explaining the new ordinance changes in-person and providing them with brochures outlining their responsibilities.
Penalties for any individual found guilty of violating the new city code shall be found guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by:
• 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