First US ban on e-cigarettes proposed by San Francisco

Marco Green
March 21, 2019

A second city law would bar making, selling or distributing tobacco on city property and is aimed at an e-cigarette firm renting on Pier 70. At this time, however, no electronic cigarettes have been reviewed by the agency, meaning all products would - for now, at least - be banned in San Francisco. Juul, the largest e-cigarette maker, is headquartered in city-owned buildings in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood, which is in Walton's district.

San Francisco was the first city in the United States to approve an outright ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and flavored vaping liquids, which voters upheld in 2018.

The action is predicated on a national policy that says the FDA must study the public health of any new tobacco products before they go to market.

"We have people addicted to nicotine who would have never smoked a cigarette had it not been for the attractive products that target our young people", said Walton, a former president of the San Francisco Board of Education.

The FDA released proposed guidelines last week giving companies until 2021 to submit applications for the evaluation.

Health officials in the USA took a almost unprecedented move in November toward curbing the use of e-cigarettes among young people, restricting sales of kid-friendly flavors in convenience stores and gas station in hopes of fighting what they describe as an "epidemic" of youth vaping.

Herrera said San Francisco, Chicago and NY sent a joint letter demanding that the FDA begin its review.

So far, no e-cigarette has been approved by the FDA. Which, it turns out, is all of them. "It's a prohibition against any e-cigarettes that haven't been reviewed by the FDA to confirm that they are appropriate for the protection of public health".

But Walton told the Chronicle the legislation should serve as a warning to Juul.

San Francisco may become the first USA city to ban electronic cigarettes, also called 'vapes, ' until more information about their potential long-term health effects are known.

While the proposed law wouldn't kick Juul out of its Bay Area home, it would prevent it from expanding in any way to more directly manufacture Juul products in SF.

City officials held a press conference today, criticizing companies that sell e-cigarettes for their predatory practices.

Last year San Francisco became the first USA city to ban flavoured tobacco and vaping liquids, and already prevents smokeless tobacco from being used on playing fields. 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.

"Millions of children are already addicted to e-cigarettes and millions more will follow if we don't act", he said.

But he says bluntly, "We don't want them in our city". "This proposed legislation begs the question - why would the City be comfortable with combustible cigarettes being on shelves when we know they kill more than 480,000 Americans per year?"

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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