San Franciso has long been expected to ban the sale of e-cigarettes, although proposed legislation has often been left in a state of limbo. Finally, the ban is about to become a reality. City officials have voted in favor of passing the legislation, with Mayor London Breed being expected to sign it into law. While Mayor Breed has ten days to review the proposal before it’s signed, this is assumed to be a formality as she has previously expressed her support of it; once approved, the bill will take effect after seven months.
The measure is something that many have looked at instituting already, as the potential health effects of e-cigarettes still aren’t very clear. San Francisco officials note that the ban, which also includes the delivery of the product, will only be lifted once the FDA has finished reviewing these effects. While many people have supported the legislation, there have been a few challenges to it, with e-cigarette company Juul being behind many of these.
The company, which has its headquarters in the city, is already campaigning to overturn the law, claiming that it “puts politics before public health.” Instead of an outright ban, Juul is looking for “responsible policymaking,” which it says will prevent young people from vaping without affecting adults.
Of course, the ban will have quite a negative effect on the company. To make matters worse for Juul, they just purchase a new headquarters in San Francisco, which may be rendered unusable once the bill is signed by Mayor Breed.
Supporters of the ban have claimed that the legislation will curb youth access to nicotine products, and have noted that many e-cigarette companies have deliberately targeted younger audiences. While companies such as Juul have aimed to minimize this, both Mayor Breed and the FDA, among others, have claimed that these efforts haven’t been enough, especially when the potential health hazards are taken in consideration.