Shamann Walton said: “We spent the 90s battling big tobacco, and now we see its new form in e-cigarettes.”
Ahsha Safaí added: “This is about thinking about the next generation of users and thinking about protecting the overall health and sending a message to the rest of the state and the country: follow our lead.”
Dennis Herrera, a lawyer acting for the city said, “young people have almost indiscriminate access to a product that shouldn’t even be on the market”. He added that the Food and Drug Administration is failing the nation by not banning vaping and that the responsibility to do so now falls on the individual states themselves.
Juul Labs is based in San Francisco, a spokesperson responded: “We share the Board of Supervisors’ goal to keep tobacco and vapor products out of the hands of anyone under 21, which is why we have already taken the most aggressive actions in the industry. We stopped the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavoured JUULpods, enhanced our online age-verification, strengthened our retailer compliance and shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others.”
“But the prohibition of vapor products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year. We will continue to work with local policymakers, small businesses, community leaders and adult smokers who have switched to vapor products to enact stronger regulation and enforcement rather than complete prohibition.”
Professor Michael Siegel slammed the city supervisors’ shoddy duplicity. He writes: “The Philip Morris USA cigarette company could not have dreamed for a more favourable legislative gift from the city of San Francisco. Right now, the chief competitor to the sale of the company's deadly cigarettes is vaping products, which are today the most widely used and most effective product for smoking cessation. In fact, there are at least 2.5 million ex-smokers in the United States who have successfully quit smoking using e-cigarettes and who remain dependent on the availability of these products to stay off cigarettes. However, in San Francisco, unless the Board reverses its decision, these products will soon be taken off the market.”
“From a public health perspective, this is the most insane piece of legislation I have ever seen. The Board of Supervisors apparently thinks that it is in the interest of the public's health to ban much safer e-cigarettes while allowing deadly cigarettes to remain on the shelves.”
- “San Francisco Board of Supervisors Poised to Deliver Huge Gift to Philip Morris” by Professor Michael Siegel – [link]