San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton left nobody unclear as to the intentions of San Francisco legislators: “We don’t want them in our city.”
San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera announced the steps at a press conference:
“It’s not an outright ban on e-cigarettes,” said Herrera, as he detailed the ban on e-cigarettes.
Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax said: “The industry is addicting a whole new generation of youth to nicotine. The proposed legislation is “a major step in preventing that gateway from e-cigarette addition to tobacco use and tobacco addiction. This will save hundreds, if not thousands of lives.”
Pam Ling, a tobacco researcher at the University of California San Francisco added: “I think it’s very reasonable to say we’re not going to allow e-cigarettes to be sold in the city until the FDA has determined they’re safe and they benefit public health. I think some of the problems we currently see, particularly with a product like Juul, has been it was allowed on the market before testing and approval. That leads to smokers and others paying to be guinea pigs for the company.”
A spokesperson for Juul Labs commented: “We encourage the City of San Francisco to severely restrict youth access but do so in a way that preserves the opportunity to eliminate combustible cigarettes. This proposed legislation begs the question, ‘why would the City be comfortable with combustible cigarettes being on shelves when we know they kill more than 480,000 Americans per year’?”
The action being taken in San Francisco is part of the hysteria circle being whipped up across the United States – but common sense does exist. Joe Gitchell, a consultant in public health and regulatory policy, spoke about how people ought to think and feel about nicotine at last year’s Global Forum for Nicotine:
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, told USA Today: “No youth should vape, but no politician should try to enact modern-day prohibition. It is hard for San Francisco to get even more absurd, but this proposal and the rhetoric around it is absolutely insane.”
“They are trying to shut down a business that is operating peacefully in their city. Meanwhile, you can walk the streets of San Francisco, if you don’t step in human excrement, and pass by people with various needles hanging out of their arms. I think San Francisco may have greater priorities.”
At the end of 2018, many predicted that the environment surrounding vaping and tobacco harm reduction in the USA would continue to get worse. The proposals being put forward by Dennis Herrera and Shamann Walton defy any form of logic. Prohibition on alcohol didn’t work; blocking access to reduced harm will ultimately fail, but many lives will be lost until legislators see sense.