San Francisco May Ban Sales of E-Cigarettes

A ban on the sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes being considered by San Francisco supervisors -- if passed, it would be the first such ban by any city in the United States.

The goal is to reduce youth use of e-cigarettes until the Food and Drug Administration completes a review of the effects of e-cigarettes on public health, the Associated Pressreported.

Another measure would forbid the manufacturing of e-cigarettes on city property. Leading e-cigarette maker Juul is based in San Francisco.

If the measures are approved by city supervisors, they would require a second vote before becoming law, the AP reported.

"Young people have almost indiscriminate access to a product that shouldn't even be on the market," City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. Due to FDA inaction on the issue "it's unfortunately falling to states and localities to step into the breach," he added.

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most widely used tobacco product among young people in the U.S. Last year, 1 in 5 high school students reported vaping in the previous month, a federal government survey found, the AP reported.

E-cigarettes are associated with heart attacks, strokes and lung disease, according to Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control and Research and a supporter of the San Francisco measures.

E-cigarettes have "completely reversed the progress we've made in youth smoking in the last few years," he told the AP.

The San Francisco measures are opposed by the e-cigarette industry and groups representing small businesses.

Last year, city voters approved a ban on sales of candy and fruit-flavored tobacco products. All but two states have at least one law restricting youth access to e-cigarettes, according to the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, the AP reported.

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