The city of Palo Alto is considering fines for minors caught using e-cigarettes in public and whether such a move could help stop the epidemic, which saw huge growth in the number of teens who say they vape regularly.
In 2019, 5.4 million middle school and high school students vaped regularly, a 67% increase over 2018.
Last month, Congress raised the age to legally buy tobacco to 21 and banned fruity and sweet e-cigarette flavors.
One Palo Alto councilman described fining the minors for vaping in public as a "cutting edge approach," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But anti-tobacco advocates say the burden of keeping tobacco out of the hands of teens should be borne by retailers.
In communities with similar tobacco fines for youth, the idea is to get the kids into an education program rather than get them to shell out cash.