San Francisco has become the first city in the U.S. to ban the sales of e-cigarettes in stores and online.
The San Francisco City Council voted to approve the ban on Tuesday and will go to San Francisco Mayor London Breed next to be signed into law. The ban is the first of its kind in the U.S. and only focuses on e-cigarettes. It does not include regular cigarettes and other tobacco products or recreational marijuana.
The popular e-cigarette company, Juul, is based in San Francisco, and according to Bloomberg, is expected to rack in $3.4 billion in revenue this year. Altria Group Inc., which sells Marlboro cigarettes, also has a 35% stake in Juul Labs Inc. Since the proposed ban wouldn’t go into effect until at least seven months after a signature from the time Breed signs it, Juul’s products won’t be off the city’s shelves any time soon.
E-cigarettes like Juul contain nicotine and studies have shown more and more that e-cigarettes can be harmful to your health. Juul advertises its products as being a safer alternative to cigarette smoking, or even targeting those cigarette smokers looking to quit, but studies show e-cigarette smokers are less likely to quit than smokers who have never used these kinds of devices.
“There is so much we don’t know about the health impacts of these products, but we do know that e-cigarette companies are targeting our kids in their advertising and getting them hooked on addictive nicotine products,” Breed said in a statement, according to CNBC. “We need to take action to protect the health of San Francisco’s youth and prevent the next generation of San Franciscans from becoming addicted to these products.”
While the FDA won’t be regulating e-cigarettes until 2021, sixteen states have already been cracking down on tobacco and e-cigarette use by raising the age consumers can buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. Juul has released statements saying that they agree and applaud these decisions.
“Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth-use rates. That is why we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies and hope more jurisdictions follow,” Kevin Burns, Juul Labs Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement on June 18.
Bloomberg reported that the e-cigarette company is against a complete ban and wants to keep e-cigarette options available for those over 21 to purchase in San Francisco. Digital Trends reached out to Juul for a comment on the proposed ban, but we’ve yet to hear back.
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