San Francisco has passed a law making the sale of e-cigarettes illegal within city limits. It is the first city in the United States to have such a restriction.
Here’s what we know
In addition to banning brick-and-mortar retailers in the city, San Francisco has also made it illegal for online retailers to deliver e-cigarettes to residents. The bill still has to be signed by the San Francisco Mayor London Breed, but she has already publicly said that she supports it. She said she thinks it is necessary to “suspend the sale of e-cigarettes in San Francisco until the Food and Drug Administration concludes a review of the impacts of vaping on public health.”
The city argued that legislation was necessary because of a “nationwide surge in e-cigarette use by adolescents.” It also pointed to the lack of FDA reporting on the effects of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are considered to be safer than conventional cigarettes, but still contain nicotine.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera called this “a decisive step to help prevent another generation of San Francisco children from becoming addicted to nicotine.”
Coincidentally, Juul Labs, the maker of the currently most popular e-cigarette in the country, is based in San Francisco. It also announced the purchase of new office space in the city just last week. According to CNN, a spokesman for Juul said that this legislation would only make people “who successfully switched to vapor products back to deadly cigarettes” and “create a thriving black market instead of addressing the actual causes of underage access and use.”
California had already raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.
The regulation will begin to take effect in 30 days.