In an attempt to combat youth vaping, San Francisco becomes the first U.S. major city to ban e-cigarettes sales. The city's board of supervisors voted in favor of the ordinance Tuesday.
As per the ordinance, no one shall sell or distribute electronic cigarettes in San Francisco unless the American Food and Drug Administration has made a pre-market review of the product. To date, no e-cigarette brand has undergone the procedure.
The ban includes online sales and sales in brick-and-mortar stores. Furthermore, it is not limited to e-cigarettes only; it also applies to all flavored tobacco products. It is worth mentioning that it does not ban the use of vapes among people aged 21 or older.
The ban does not enter into force immediately. It needs the final approval of the San Francisco Mayor. London Breed already confirmed she would sign it into law.
The San Francisco mayor already pointed out in an interview that she was in favor of the ban as we still did not know enough about the health impact of e-cigarettes. The mayor was also concerned that they targeted the local youth, making it dependent on nicotine products. Breed concluded that actions were needed to prevent the next generation from becoming addicted to similar products.
The ban would go into effect seven months after the mayor approves it. However, the city of San Francisco would not ban the sale of traditional cigarettes and marijuana products, as well as vapes for cannabis.
The official government statistics also confirmed the mayor's concerns. In February this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 4.9 American teens used e-cigarettes in last year, a significant increase of 1.5 million teens in only twelve months.
Commenting on the controversial trend, the CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said that we were putting the next generation at risk for nicotine addiction.
San-Francisco-based Juul, one of the leading manufacturers of e-cigarettes having a market share of 50%, said it would continue to push back against the new law. Moreover, the firm is reportedly planning a ballot measure in November to keep e-cigarettes available for sale.
According to Juul, the prohibition would have a reverse effect, creating a black market for e-cigarettes. Moreover, it could also encourage adult smokers who are already used to e-cigarettes to turn back to tobacco cigarettes, risking their health, said from the company.
What do you think? Do you support or oppose the ban on e-cigarettes sale?