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San Francisco is officially the first US city to ban e-cigarette sales

The mayor just needs to sign the ban into law.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|June 25, 2019 6:31 PM

San Francisco's expected ban on e-cigarettes is about to become a practical reality. The city has voted in favor of a measure banning sales and and deliveries of e-cigarette products, making it the first urban center to approve just such a measure. Mayor London Breed has 10 days to review the law, but that may be a formality when she has already expressed support for the legislation. It should take effect seven months after signing, and won't lift until the FDA has finished reviewing the health effects.

The passing no doubt causes grief for many e-cigarette companies, but it's a particularly serious blow to Juul, which now faces a ban in its home town just days after it bought a 28-floor office tower. The company is already campaigning for an option on the November ballot to reverse the ban, and has claimed that the law "puts politics before public health." It wants "responsible policymaking" that helps prevent youth vaping without denying access to adults.

It won't get much sympathy from officials. While Juul and other brands have made efforts to curb youth access to e-cigarettes, Breed and others (including the FDA) have accused them of deliberately targeting younger audiences. They don't want to repeat the years-long battles over conventional cigarette marketing, especially not at a time when the potential danger of e-cigs is still a major concern.

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San Francisco is officially the first US city to ban e-cigarette sales