San Francisco may become the first major city in the U.S. to ban all e-cigarette sales, as city leaders voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban the sale of the products in city limits.
The measure still requires final approval. If it passes a second vote, it will move to the mayor, London Breed, who has previously been supportive of the ban. If Breed signs the legislation, it would take six to seven months to take effect.
The legislation is seen as a way to crack down on what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called a youth vaping “epidemic.”But San Francisco-based e-cigarette company Juul Labs Inc. said it has taken steps to prevent children from buying and using its products. The company has taken down its Facebook and Instagram accountants as a way to deter those under 21 years old from buying its products.
“…the prohibition of vapor products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year,” said Juul spokesperson Ted Kwong, according to the Washington Post.
Groups representing small businesses also oppose the measure, saying it would force some stores out of business.
Earlier this month, the Beverly Hills City Council voted 5-0 to end the sales of cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products beginning in 2021. The ban will cover tobacco sales at gas stations, pharmacies, convenience and grocery stores.
Meanwhile, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized its guidance for manufacturers submitting new tobacco product applications through the premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) pathway for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), which includes e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine and nicotine-containing e-liquids, “as part of the agency’s continued commitment to its oversight of tobacco products.”
The agency said manufacturers or importers must demonstrate, among other things, that marketing of the new tobacco product would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.