Despite the popularity of e-cigarettes right now, San Francisco, California officials decided to ban the sale of the smoking apparatus within city limits on June 25.
According to Gizmodo, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban e-cigarette sales, or at least until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can conduct more studies on whether or not they are harmful.
San Francisco is the home to at least one major vaping company, Juul Labs, which is considered to be one of the country’s most prominent e-cigarette producers. However, city officials like City Supervisor Shamann Walton believe that the ban isn’t meant to be permanent. “It is a moratorium until due diligence is carried out by the FDA concerning Big Tobacco companies like Juul marketing to our youth,” said Walton, who sponsored the legislation. “Companies like Juul have had three years to submit their product and marketing to the FDA. The question is, why haven’t they. And the answer is, because they want to protect their profits to continue targeting and harming our young people, and they know nicotine is not healthy.”
“We share the city of San Francisco’s concerns with youth usage of tobacco and vapor products, including our own. That is why we have taken aggressive action nationwide, including stopping the sale of flavored products to retailers and supporting strong, restrictive category wide regulation to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of youth,” Juul told Gizmodo back in March. “But this proposed legislation’s primary impact will be to limit adult smokers’ access to products that can help them switch away from combustible cigarettes.”
There have been some studies conducted regarding the use of e-cigarettes, including a study showing teens who use them are more likely to consume cannabis. Technically the ordinance doesn’t become official until Mayor London Breed signs off, but she has already indicated that she plans to do so. If she does, the law would take effect in January 2020.