Insane New Law Bans The Sale Of Vaping Products, But Not Cigarettes

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Critics have blasted the law for taking things too far, while Juul is working on a ballot initiative to stop it.

If you’ve been vaping for any length of time, you’ve probably become all too accustomed to encroaching regulations. All over the world, legislators are working on how to handle these relatively new inventions, having only been a significant force for the last ten years.

However, instead of taking the opportunity to look into the growing pile of evidence we have for the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping, many legislators simply apply smoking regulations to vaping. This misguided logic is bad enough, but some municipalities have started taking things a step further, and aim to restrict vaping even more harshly than combustible tobacco.

San Francisco is leading this charge, with a recently passed law which bans the sale of vaping products across the city, both in-store and online. The bill also forbids the manufacture and distribution of e-cigarettes in the city, directly aiming San Francisco-based, Juul Labs.

The law won’t force them out of the city since it’s not retroactive, but that doesn’t mean Juul Labs isn’t taking things lying down. In fact, they’re currently backing a ballot initiative for this November, which seeks to stop the law before it takes effect in early 2020.

Juul Labs vs. San Francisco

San Francisco has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the biggest enemies to the vaping industry in America, and for a good reason. After a city-wide vote passed the nation’s strictest flavor ban last year, the city’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted recently to prohibit the sale, manufacture, and distribution of vaping products throughout the city.

Despite the new law not actively forcing Juul Labs out, it does prevent the rapidly growing company from expanding any further at their headquarters. Most experts agree that the portions of the bill which prohibit distribution and manufacture are squarely aimed at Juul Labs in all but name.

Most of the pushback against this new law from the vaping industry focuses on the backward logic it employs. Critics have called out the plan for severely restricting access to vaping while doing nothing to further mitigate smoking, despite how many people die every year from preventable, smoking-related causes.

The Juul-backed ballot initiative seeking to stop this law has received a ton of support. In just a few weeks, the Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation has collected over 20,000 signatures in support of putting their initiative on the ballot this fall. While experts are unsure of its prospects, even if it does make the ballot, the rapid support against this unfounded regulation has been incredible.

What The Research Says

If the leaders in San Francisco actually took a little time to look at the evidence for themselves, it’s unlikely things would be going down so poorly. While still a relatively new invention, we have a growing pile of evidence actively supporting the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes.

However, San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton once again displayed his failure to understand even fundamental differences between vaping and smoking, despite the mountain of peer-reviewed evidence. While supporting the move, he suggested the main difference between vaping and smoking is “trading one nicotine addiction for another.”

Most experts agree switching to vaping, while not harmless, is dramatically safer than continued smoking. We’ve known since as far back as 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking thanks to research conducted by Public Health England.

This type of figure has been found repeatedly over the years, with a recent study by Roswell Park concluding the toxicants in vapor are 93% lower than cigarette smoke. Even more evident, a report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is approximately 57,000 times lower than smokers with similar backgrounds.

This new law wouldn’t even be the first time San Francisco lawmakers gave a hand to Big Tobacco. In fact, according to reports by Yale Professor, Dr. John Buckell, e-liquid flavor bans, like the one they passed last year, may ultimately be leading to more smokers, not less.

Implications

This is a huge mistake by city legislators. If banning vaping is such a priority, they should feel honor-bound also to ban cigarettes. Whatever their reasons, they’ve decided this is the correct path forward and will stick with it if left to their own devices.

If we don’t work together now to stop this new law before it takes effect, it could dramatically reduce all the good e-cigarettes have done for vapers across the city. Even worse, this could lead to more legislators following suit and implementing similar laws.

We must band together and talk to the people in our lives about what vaping has done for us. The more people who truly understand the differences between vaping and smoking, the easier it will be to stop laws like this from becoming a reality.

Do you think it makes sense for San Francisco to ban vaping but not smoking? What’s the best way to protect our vaping rights? Why do you think smoking and vaping are so easily equated? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.

Dustin has been vaping for almost a decade. He found e-cigarettes in 2008 and quickly became drawn to them as an early adopter. He's been writing reviews ever since and has established himself as a well-versed authority on the subject.

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