San Francisco is first US city to ban vapor sales, combustibles cigarettes remain legal

San Francisco is first US city to ban vapor sales, combustibles cigarettes remain legal

June 25, 2019

The city of San Francisco on Tuesday voted to impose a blanket ban on e-cigarettes — making it the first American city to outlaw the sale, distribution and manufacturing of vaping products, according to a story on

The sweeping restriction also puts San Francisco at odds with one of its most prominent hometown startups, Juul Labs, which last Tuesday said it bought an office building in San Francisco — the same day the city board unanimously backed the e-cigarette ordinance in a preliminary vote. The city’s board of supervisors ratified the e-cig sales ban Tuesday, according to the story.

Juul claims the ordinance will “drive former adult smokers who successfully switched to vapor products back to deadly cigarettes.” It will also “deny the opportunity to switch for current adult smokers, and create a thriving black market instead of addressing the actual causes of underage access and use,” the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, according to the story.
The ordinance now awaits mayor London Breed’s signature. It will take effect in six months to give retailers time to remove the product from their shelves, and subject offending retailers to fines and other penalties, including jail time.

The ordinance is aimed exclusively at e-cigarettes, which Supervisor Shamann Walton said endanger San Francisco’s youth. It doesn’t affect the local sale of cigarettes, according to the story.

Walton emphasized that many of the health effects of e-cigarettes remain largely unknown: “Middle school and high school students are becoming addicted to nicotine because of e-cigarettes, so we want to do everything we can to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people until the FDA conducts the appropriate clinical trials and finds out how these should be marketed. We need to make sure we protect young people,” he told CBS MoneyWatch, accoriding to the story

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