SF Approves Nation’s First Ban On E-Cigarette Sales
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance 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 [photo], 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. 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.
In a statement Tuesday following the vote, Juul spokesman Ted Kwong said, “this full prohibition will drive former adult smokers who successfully switched to vapor products back to deadly cigarettes, deny the opportunity to switch for current adult smokers, and create a thriving black market instead of addressing the actual causes of underage access and use.”
The policy also sets the stage for what could be a longer clash over e-cig regulation. Juul is also behind a ballot initiative that experts worry could roll back the city ordinance if voters approve it in upcoming elections.