You may or may not have heard that San Francisco recently became the first city in the United States to ban e-cigarettes. Home of the brave or have officials in San Francisco just put the potential for a smoke-free city up in smoke? Let’s find out more about the what, the why and the when, as San Francisco seeks to cease the sale of vaping products.
First City in the U.S. to Ban Vaping
It seems hard to believe, but yes San Francisco has become the first city to ban vaping in the United States. Known for their healthy living and forward-thinking community, it seems at odds with logic, that local government in the city have gone to such lengths that will see shops removing e-cigarettes and e-liquid from their shelves. Additionally, online sales of e-cigs in the city are also set to be banned, meaning that a seemingly healthy solution to combat smoking will be reduced to the depths and darkness of an illegal and illicit black market.
Why did San Francisco Ban E-Cigarettes
The unprecedented move by San Francisco is aiming to combat the rise in underage vaping, which comes in light of the US Surgeon General issuing an advisory at the end of 2018 describing underage vaping in the states to be at an ‘epidemic’ level. As vaping becomes more and more popular, it is estimated that more than 4.9 million American teens used e-cigs in 2018, which is an increase of 1.5 million teens in under a year.
What happened to Juul?
What is fascinating about this story is the fact that e-cig behemoths JUUL, who enjoy a 50% of the e-cig market share and who are the biggest producers of e-cigarette products in the U.S, have their headquarters based in the city. The incredible growth of JUUL even saw them purchase a new 29-story skyscraper to house its growing team on the very same day that the e-cig ban first passed the city’s committee.
While the vaping ban is yet to come into effect, San Francisco’s Mayor, London Breed has said she will sign the legislation with a ban expected to be enforced in early 2020 and shops asked to remove stock from their shelves.
What Does The Ban Mean for Vapers
Public Health England cites e-cigs to be up to a staggeringly 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes as well as suggesting that vaping has the potential for smokers to achieve a smoke-free status. Additionally, research shows vaping to be almost twice as effective as traditional nicotine replacements such as patches and gums at helping smokers quit smoking. With approximately 3.2 million vapers and counting here in the UK, Public Health England estimates that vaping helps up to 20,000 smokers become smoke-free every year, though industry indicators suggest that the figure is much higher. With the U.S. boasting an estimated 10 million vapers, the move certainly comes as a smack in the face to those who vape to avoid cigarettes and endeavour to become smoke-free.
Prediction for the Vaping Industry
As the six-month countdown begins, how will San Franciscan vapers respond to the impending ban? Unfortunately, the likelihood is, that many may turn to the black market of potentially unregulated products, which may pose a considerably higher health risk to those who simply wanted to live healthier lives by vaping and not smoking. Alternatively, residents may simply return to the toxic and carcinogenic cigarettes that they had successfully managed to avoid up until now.
A story well worth keeping one eye on, we wonder whether this will be an isolated blip in vaping’s history or whether more cities and states in the United States will follow suit. Watch this space.