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Tobacco

San Francisco Voters Approve E-Cigarette Ban

Eighty-two percent of voters support city's move
Photograph: Shutterstock

SAN FRANCISCO — In what could have been a reprieve for vapers in the City by the Bay, an effort to overrule San Francisco’s ban on electronic cigarettes and vaping products failed at the ballot box.

On Nov. 5, a resounding 82% of residents voted “no” on Proposition C, which would have allowed for the sale of e-cigarettes but would have placed stronger age restrictions to keep teens from vaping, according to the San Francisco Department of Elections.

Now poised to take effect in 2020, the ordinance will “prohibit the sale by tobacco retail establishments of electronic cigarettes that require, but have not received, an order from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving their marketing; and prohibiting the sale and distribution to any person in San Francisco of flavored tobacco products and electronic cigarettes that require, but have not received, an FDA order approving their marketing.”

The “approval” cited in the ordinance refers to the new-product application and review process that the FDA is requiring all vaping products to go through. The deadline for those applications is May 2020, with the review process to take an undetermined amount of time after submission.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the ban in June, with Mayor London Breed signing the bill days later.

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