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San Francisco Ban’s E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes, or vaping, have been receiving much recent attention.  Much of the attention is positive – in that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional smoking, but there is also much negative attention.  The negative attention is largely focused on a large number of teenagers who have adopted vaping on a regular basis, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Recently, San Francisco banned the sale of e-cigarettes within its city limits.  San Francisco is the first major city that has adopted such a ban.  The ban is being applauded by many vaping critics who admonish the industry for not combating teen-use and is criticized by others for still permitting traditional cigarettes within city limits.  As of now, an ordinance has been approved by San Francisco city leaders and the mayor intends on signing it.  The soon-to-be new law will prohibit e-cigarettes that have not been pre-market reviewed by regulators, from being sold within the city.  Currently, manufacturers are not being reviewed in this fashion, thus nearly all e-cigarettes will be prohibited within the city.

One of the largest e-cigarette manufacturers is Juul.  Juul is based in the bay area and will see a loss by the ban.  The concern for Juul in losing a city is significant because this ban may spread into other cities looking at San Francisco as a model, says Gaurav Mohindra.

The purpose of the ban to thwart teen-use.  The rampant scale of vaping in schools has been called an epidemic by many officials.  Recent surveys indicate that most high schoolers, and a majority of middle-schoolers have tried vaping in the past year.  The Center for Disease Control addresses kids and teen e-cigarette use on their website.  They specifically note that it is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults to use e-cigarettes.  In addition, nicotine can negatively impact young brains.  E-cigarettes also contain other potentially harmful substances besides nicotine.  Young people using e-cigarettes may also become more prone to smoking cigarettes.  The vaping industry is trying to regulate unlawful use by young people.  Efforts have been made to prohibit marketing of flavored vapes to younger demographics.

The ban may seem like a drastic measure and rather broad, in that, it is addressing all age groups and not just young people.  However, such a ban will encourage the vaping industry to conduct more studies and improve their marketing campaigns, says Gaurav Mohindra.  So overall, this ban may lead to a better product.

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