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Tobacco

San Francisco Bans E-Cigarettes

Rule prohibits sales until FDA authorizes new products
Photograph: Shutterstock

SAN FRANCISCO The City by the Bay has become the first major U.S. metropolitan market to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes, pending the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) authorization of products through its premarket tobacco application (PMTA) process, according to CNN.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the ban June 25 and Mayor London Breed signed the bill June 28. It will become effective 30 days after that signature date and “operative” six months after that, the report said.

Along with the new rule, the board passed a similar ordinance that bans the sale, manufacture and distribution of e-cigarettes on city property.

Supervisor Shamann Walton, the main sponsor of the ordinance, said in a statement obtained by NBC News that the ban is until the FDA completes appropriate clinical trials and issues standards on e-cigarettes.

“As of now, the FDA has not made a ruling on the safety and all health issues associated with e-cigarettes,” Walton said. “In addition, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to never allow companies that sell, manufacture or distribute tobacco products to lease any city property.”

Multiple trade groups and retailers have spoken out against regulations surrounding e-cigarettes, most recently regarding the issue of flavored tobacco products. Many of the state and local laws emerging around e-cigarettes focus on flavored products, which sometimes includes menthol cigarettes, e-cigarettes, flavored moist snuff and cigars.

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