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

San Francisco city officials unanimously voted this week to ban electronic cigarette sales, becoming the first U.S. city to take this step, according to CNN.

Per the ordinance, passed June 25, the sale or distribution of e-cigarettes to people in San Francisco is prohibited, unless the product has completed FDA pre-market review. No e-cigarette products have undergone the review.

The ordinance bans sales in stores and purchase or delivery of the products online to San Francisco addresses. The ordinance does not, however, ban the use of vapes by people 21 years and older. Vaping devices include e-cigarettes, vape pens and other advanced personal vaporizers.

The move is setting up a showdown in San Francisco, where popular e-cigarette maker Juul has its headquarters. While supporters of the initiative hope it will improve public health and stop younger generations from becoming addicted to nicotine, its opponents say the ban will hurt businesses and remove an alternative less harmful than regular cigarettes for adult smokers.

Juul states that it is supportive of plans to more strictly regulate the sale of e-cigarettes rather than an outright ban. The company also says it has collected enough signatures to move forward with a ballot initiative that would force the ordinance to be repealed.

The ordinance becomes policy within 30 days of being signed by San Francisco's mayor, and it will be fully implemented six months later.

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