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In a move set to hurt both the vaping community and big tobacco, San Francisco has pushed ahead its proposal to ban all flavored tobacco products. Big tobacco is leading the way with a movement to gather signatures to have the ruling over turned.
The controversial move by San Francisco to ban the sales of all flavored tobacco products was approved less than a month ago. However, opposition to the new law is already growing. The ruling isn’t set to come into effect until April 2018. However, petitions against the ruling are already gathering momentum. The draft proposal measure is known as the “Referenda: Repeal of Ordinance Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products.”
The biggest issue with the ban facing flavored cigarette products is that e-cigarettes or vaporizer also use flavored e-liquid which would be included in the ban. The ban would affect menthol cigarettes, nicotine replacement items with flavor, flavored chewing tobacco, and flavored e-liquids used in vaporizers and e-cigarettes.
“We’re trying to overturn the ban,” said Jaime Rojas, a spokesperson for a newly formed campaign called ‘Let’s Be Real San Francisco’, adding, “the government has overreached on this issue.”
“Today, San Francisco sent a clear message that we need to do more to protect the health of our most vulnerable,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen in a news release at the time, adding, “This legislation will reduce the number of new tobacco users that pick up the habit each year.”
Many health experts have agreed with the ban on flavored tobacco products, but disagree with e-liquid being included in the ban. Many health experts believe that e-cigarettes could be a better alternative for adults looking to quit smoking, especially those that have failed to quit in the past using traditional NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products such as gum, patches, and sprays. “The state—especially the Bay Area—is leaving smokers vulnerable to tobacco-related diseases that will kill nearly 4,000 Californians this month. Lawmakers who understand the value of harm reduction need to reconsider why they are taking away products that encourage smokers to move away from cigarettes,” said Harm Reduction Policy Director of non-profit R Street Institute and former drug-abuse researcher at the University of Minnesota and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California, Carrie Wade, last month.
A petition company, Bay Area Petitions is helping drive awareness of the issue. They are offering up to $5 for every signature to appeal the new legislation. Some statistics have shown that over 35% of traditional cigarettes sold in San Francisco are Menthol flavored. When you take into account, the average price of a pack of cigarettes is as much as $8.50, that’s almost $50 million dollars per year in lost revenue.
The unfortunate part of this is that consenting adults will lose the legal right to choose what types of e-liquid they use in their e-cigarette or vaporizer. It would effectively destroy vaping and those people that have started vaping stores or websites offering flavored e-liquid. This leaves very little choice in flavor. You would need to vape an e-liquid with no flavoring, not much fun in that!
For many vapers, what started as a way to quit smoking traditional cigarettes has turned into a lifestyle choice or hobby. Many vapers make the switch from higher nicotine levels in their e-liquid and quickly transition down to premium e-liquid with very little nicotine or none at all. If you would like to have your say or sign the petition, then check out the link at Let’s Be Real San Francisco.