Officials on Tuesday have voted and the verdict is that San Francisco bans e-cigarette sales, making it the first U.S. city. The U.S. city has decided to put a halt to e-cigarettes until the health effects are clearer with more studies to come. Indeed, how much do we actually know about e-cigarettes? Many have replaced them because they look or seem to be healthier in appearance but could that just be an appearance?
In the last years, e-cigarettes have grown significantly in popularity with a range of different shops opening to sell different type of equipment to go with your e-cigarette. However, San Francisco sends a strong mention by banning the commercialization of vaporizers and making it even illegal for online retailers to deliver in the city. Ironically, the state of California is home to the most popular e-cigarette producer, Juul Labs. According to the company, this ban would have a negative repercussion and drive back smokers to using regular cigarettes and even ‘’create a thriving black market’’.
London Breed, San Francisco’s mayor will sign off the legislation in ten days. The ban is then scheduled to take place officially seven months afterward. Nonetheless, there have been reports firms that a strong opposition would counterattack.
Anti-vaping activists criticize these firms saying it specifically targets a younger population and lures them into consuming e-cigarettes by offering a variety of flavored products. Since no scientific investigation has been made to understand the actual impact on one’s health, some activists even encourage youngsters to switch back to cigarettes.
In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a report with proposed guidelines and gave the targeted companies until 2021 to make sure these requirements are applied to the e-cigarette products they sell. This report was initially meant for August 2018 but the preparation time took longer than expected.
As a response to this delay, San Francisco’s city attorney, Dennis Herrera, who was in favor of the ban, said it was a necessity given the ‘‘abdication of responsibility’’ by the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes. San Francisco is the first U.S. city to ban e-cigarettes, but most likely not the last one as it is expected to cause a snowball effect until proper investigation unfolds.