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San Francisco Set To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is slated to vote Tuesday to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes within the metropolis. The metropolis is the company residence of Juul Labs, the most important producer of e-cigarettes within the nation.

The ordinances would make the sale of e-cigarettes illegal in brick-and-mortar stores and online when delivery to San Francisco addresses.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has 10 days to signal the laws, which she has mentioned she’s going to do. The legislation might be enforced seven months from that date, in early 2020.

San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton, who co-authored the laws, sees it as a part of a long-term battle towards the consequences of smoking.

“We spent a few decades fighting big tobacco in the form of cigarettes,” Walton mentioned. “Now we have to do it again in the form of e-cigarettes.”

Under federal legislation, the minimal age to purchase tobacco merchandise is 18.  California and 15 other states, nevertheless, have raised that age to 21 or handed measures that may set it to 21 by 2021. Despite this, use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, has skyrocketed amongst youngsters nationally.

Last yr, 1 in 5 high school seniors reported vaping prior to now month. That’s nearly double the quantity from the year before. Even eighth graders are vaping in document numbers.

These will increase come after years of declines in youngsters smoking conventional cigarettes.

Public well being officers are involved concerning the rising variety of youngsters utilizing e-cigarettes, as nicotine can harm a young person’s developing brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that younger individuals who vape could also be more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes.

Walton mentioned he’s disgusted with the actions of Juul and related corporations, who he mentioned are “putting profits before the health of young people, and people in general.”

Despite the tobacco age restrict, Walton famous that vaping gadgets are generally confiscated from college students within the metropolis’s center and excessive faculties.

The ordinance is accompanied by another that forestalls the manufacture, distribution and sale of e-cigarettes on San Francisco property. The ordinance takes direct intention at Juul Labs, which leases house from town on San Francisco’s Pier 70. The ordinance shouldn’t be retroactive, so it might not take away Juul from the corporate’s present house, however it might forestall different e-cigarette makers from renting metropolis property sooner or later. In an announcement, Juul spokesman Ted Kwong wrote that, regardless, the corporate doesn’t “manufacture, distribute or sell our product from this space.”

Juul’s vaping machine was launched in 2015. It’s small, modern and discreet, trying much like a flash drive. The firm now controls 70% of the vaping market.

In an announcement, Juul Labs mentioned it shares town’s aim of maintaining e-cigarettes away from younger individuals. The firm mentioned it has made it harder for underage buyers to purchase Juul off its website and has shut down Juul accounts on Facebook and Instagram.

But, the corporate argues that “the prohibition of vapor products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year.”

Walton doesn’t purchase that argument, nevertheless. He mentioned that’s merely “trading one nicotine addiction for another.” What’s extra, he’s involved that for each grownup that may profit, dozens of younger individuals may grow to be addicted.

San Francisco resident Jay Friedman mentioned the whole e-cigarette ban goes too far. The software program engineer smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, and smoking e-cigarettes has lowered his common cigarette behavior to 2 to a few a day. He mentioned he feels higher bodily.

Friedman supported a ban on flavored tobacco that city voters passed last year. “I feel like it was good to get rid of the fruit flavors for kids,” he mentioned, “but this feels like maybe a step too far.”

If e-cigarettes are banned, he mentioned, he would attempt to give up nicotine altogether. But, “there would be a point in a moment of weakness where I’d just end up buying a pack of smokes again and then it’s just a slippery slope from there.”

Small companies in San Francisco are involved the ban will harm their backside line.

Miriam Zouzounis and her household personal Ted’s Market, a comfort retailer close to downtown San Francisco. She mentioned e-cigarettes are an “anchor” product: They draw individuals into the shop.

“When people come and want to purchase something at the store and we don’t have that exact item that they want, they’re not going to buy the rest of the items that they might on that trip: a drink or a sandwich,” Zouzounis mentioned.

She mentioned gross sales from e-cigarettes account for not less than $200 to $300 a day in gross sales. As a board member of the Arab American Grocers Association, she mentioned she believes legal guidelines like this principally have an effect on companies owned by immigrants.

Abbey Chaitin is a 15-year-old lifelong San Francisco resident. She isn’t drawn to utilizing e-cigarettes, she mentioned, as a result of she has seen friends grow to be hooked on them.

“I’ll see them in class fidgeting,” Chaitin mentioned. “They need it to focus, to function.”

And Chaitin predicted that, no matter a ban, younger individuals will nonetheless get their palms on e-cigarettes: “People my age can find a way around that if they really need to,” she mentioned.

Meanwhile, Juul is gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative to override the ban.

This story is a part of a partnership that features KQED, NPR and Kaiser Health News, an editorially unbiased program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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