Flavored tobacco ban would be detrimental to mom & pop's bottom line, they say

- Some San Francisco doctors and parents say vaping products, especially the popular new JUUL brand, is targeting minors with fun-sounding flavors like creme brulee and orange patch, smoked through what looks like a thumb drive.

Proposition E would uphold a ban on all flavored tobacco products including menthol.

Supporters argue it will protect minors.

"They have nicotine and nicotine is extremely addictive. This is a problem for kids we know their brain is still developing until you are 25 years old," said Dr. Pamela Ling of University of California San Francisco. 

Last year the board of supervisors voted for the ban, but it never took effect.

RJ Reynolds tobacco has been funding a campaign to vote it down calling it a prohibition. 

Small grocers, including Ted's Market on Howard Street, say they worry the ban would hurt their bottom line.

"If we don't have their pack of smokes we won't have the rest of the items they purchase that keep us open," said Miriam Zouzounis, whose family owns the store.

The market has a "no one under 21" sign on the door and she says minors rarely try to buy vaping products.

Still California records show e-cigarette use by high school kids about doubled in recent years to 21 percent.

San Francisco school officials say their evidence does not indicate an epidemic of vaping.

A recent survey of San Francisco high school students showed e-cigarette use actually declined 6 percent over the past two years.

JUUL says it is quite committed to combating underage use and that its donating millions of dollars to education campaigns.

Still supporters of Prop. E will make it harder for minors to start down what they say is a dangerous road.

Voters will decide on June 5.

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