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San Francisco imposes first ban on sales of electronic cigarettes in the United States


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco's supervisors decided Tuesday to change the city to become the first in the US to ban all sales of electronic cigarettes as part of an effort to combat vaping youth.

The regulators will weigh the ban on the sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes in San Francisco until the US Food and Drug Administration completes the study of the effects of electronic cigarettes on public health, as well as the ban on the manufacture of electronic cigarettes on urban land.

If the regulators approve the ban on Tuesday, the measures will require a subsequent vote before becoming law.

"Young people have almost blind access to a product that should not even be on the market," said city attorney Dennis Herrera. Because the FDA has not acted, he said, "it's up to the states and localities that unfortunately it is incumbent to remedy the situation."

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the tobacco product most used by young people in the country. The US Centers for Disease Control reported that the number of high school and college students using tobacco products increased by 36% between 2017 and 2018, an increase attributed to the use of cigarettes e.

FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said in a statement that the agency would continue to "tackle the worrisome outbreak of electronic cigarette use in children" .

"This includes preventing young people from accessing flavored tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and cigars and arousing their interest, from taking action against manufacturers and retailers who illegally market or sell these products to minors and educate young people about the dangers of electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products, "he said.

Juul, a leading e-cigarette company in San Francisco, sees vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. Juul says that he has taken steps to deter children from using his products. The company said in a statement that it has made its online age verification process more robust and shut down its Instagram and Facebook accounts to try to discourage under-21 vapers.

"But the ban on steam-based products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively solve the use of minors and will leave the cigarette on the shelves as the sole choice of adult smokers, even if they are not smoking." they kill 40,000 Californians every year, "said Juul spokesman Ted Kwong.

The American Vaping Association also opposes the San Francisco proposal, stating that adult smokers deserve to have access to less dangerous alternatives.

"Taking it to youth is a step that you can take before you take it out of the hands of adults," said association president Gregory Conley.

Groups representing small businesses also oppose these measures, which could force stores to close.

"We have to apply the rules we already have in place," said Carlos Solórzano, CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

Although San Francisco's proposed ban is unlike any other in the country, the Public Health Law Center of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law states that all but two states have at least one law restricting access young people to the electronic cigarette. Last year, city voters approved a ban on sales of fruit and candy flavored tobacco products.

Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control and advocate for measures, said the presence of e-cigarettes had "completely reversed the progress made in smoking at home." young people in recent years, a few years. " The use of the electronic cigarette is also associated with heart attacks, strokes and lung diseases, he said.

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