The Californian city has decided to go to war against vaping with two new laws: ban the use of e-cigarettes in the city, and prohibit any sellers or manufacturers from setting up shop in town. However, decisions are far from being approved by the scientific community.
The two propositions come from the city’s chief prosecutor. For Dennis Herrera, these measures will only be temporary, and will no longer be applied if the FDA proves that e-cigarettes are harmless. Furthermore, it must be proven that vaping can help smokers quit tobacco.
According to Herrera, the FDA has failed because it is supposed to verify the safety of food and medical products before they are put on the market. In the case of electronic cigarettes, there has never been any formal inquiry. Consequently, for precautionary reasons, the laws have been proposed to mitigate the FDA’s failure in preventing the sale and consumption of e-cigarettes in the city.
Juul Labs targeted by local authorities
Another part of the law would target e-cigarette manufacturers, and in particular the American start-up Juul Labs, which recently moved its headquarters to San Francisco. These new measures will not be retroactive, however, so the young company will still be allowed to do business in the city. However, new companies in the vaping industry would be forbidden from basing themselves in the city.
For the authorities, this new legislation is meant to fight tobacco addiction amongst young people. According to a recent study, the number of young smokers rose by 36% between 2017 and 2018. E-cigarettes have been accused of being responsible for this explosion in the number of teenage smokers. Grant Colfax from San Francisco’s public health department even used the term “epidemic” when talking about vaping products. However, researchers have maintained that these new proposed laws could be damaging in the long term.