San Francisco officials voted on Tuesday to ban stores from selling e-cigarettes and make it illegal for online retailers to deliver to addresses in the city. The city is home to the industry’s popular e-cigarette producer, Juul Labs.
What We Know:
- There has been a running debate over e-cigarettes and whether they help people quit smoking or increase health risks. Juul spokesman, Ted Kwong, said the ban would “drive former adult smokers who successfully switched to vapor products back to deadly cigarettes.” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the measure is a step toward preventing “another generation of San Francisco children from becoming addicted to nicotine.”
- Studies have shown that people who vape are more likely to start smoking cigarettes. Juul e-cigarettes contain as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes. According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective at helping smokers quit than nicotine replacement therapies, such as lozenges and patches.
- Earlier this year, the FDA issued proposed guidelines giving companies until 2021 to apply to have their e-cigarette products evaluated.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that from 2017 to 2018, vaping increased by 78% among young adults between the ages of 14 and 18 years old. One out of every five high school students and one out of every 20 middle-school students have vaped at least once in the past month.
- Juul suggested the city should scan IDs to verify users’ ages and apply restrictions on bulk purchases. The company also said it will continue to work with policymakers to enact a stronger regulation. It’s unclear whether or not the law will affect companies like Juul.
San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, has 10 days to sign off on the legislation. The law would be enforced seven months from that date.