California banned menthol cigarettes, e-liquids, e-juices, pods, or other vaping/tobacco products that contain flavored liquid.
The statewide ban suspending the sale of most flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes went into effect in December. It applies to anyone, but there's special attention to keep these highly-addictive products away from youth.
More than three million middle and high school students in America use tobacco, according to new data released from the FDA and CDC. For the ninth year in a row, e-cigarettes have been the most popular tobacco product among middle and high school students, a nationwide survey has found. But, despite a statewide ban prohibiting the sale of these products, the I-Team has found teens are still able to get them.
Over the past several weeks, the I-Team visited dozens of retailers across the San Francisco Bay Area to see how the ban is being enforced and if it's working.
The results were surprising.
They include an enforcement loophole that may be putting youth at risk.
Additionally, the I-Team spoke with federal investigators to get a firsthand look at how the lack of enforcement is "fueling" the underground tobacco black market. Why do researchers say the problem is getting worse in Northern California?
Watch ABC7 News I-Team reporter Stephanie Sierra's three-part series below on California's flavored tobacco ban for a look at how it's being enforced, if it's working, and the problems that have arisen.
Take a look at more stories and videos by the ABC7 News I-Team.
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live