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San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance today that prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes within the city. If signed into law, the new legislation would amend the city’s health code, making it illegal for stores to sell vaping products or for online retailers to ship them to San Francisco addresses, which means it would become the first city to enact such a ban.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who co-sponsored the ban on sales, told Bloomberg that products will be allowed to be sold in the city again if they receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA oversees e-cigarettes, but will not require vape companies to submit for approval until 2022.
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The ordinance is now waiting to be signed by Mayor London Breed, who has 10 days to review the legislation. If she signs it, the ban goes into place in seven months. Juul, the San Francisco-based company that captured 75 percent of the e-cigarette market last year, according to Nielsen, is already fighting back. The company, which has been blamed for lowering the barrier to nicotine addiction for underage users, told Bloomberg that it has already collected enough signatures to add a ballot measure that would allow San Francisco stores to keep selling e-cigarettes to customers over 21 if it passed by voters in November.
The ordinance passed today cites the increase in vaping among underage users as a key reason for the ban. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the number of middle and high school students who reported being current users of tobacco products increased 36%—from 3.6 million to 4.9 million students—between 2017 and 2018,” the proposal said. “This dramatic increase, which has erased past progress in reducing youth tobacco use, is directly attributable to a nationwide surge in e-cigarette...
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