The unanimous vote of the local San Francisco council banned the sale of e-cigarettes in the city altogether.
The ban, pending a final confirmation from the mayor, is the first of its kind in the United States and will take effect from 2020.
The move by the San Francisco city authorities does not explicitly prohibit vaping products. It "only" prohibits the sale of those e-cigarettes that have not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA. However, since this has not yet approved any e-cigarette, the measure translates into a total ban.
Exchange of accusations
"This measure would not have been necessary if the federal government had done its job," says Dennis Herrera, co-author of the ordinance. "E-cigarettes are products that by law cannot be sold without FDA approval. For some reason the FDA itself refused to implement this review."
How things really went
In reality, the amendments to the Tobacco Control Act that extend FDA controls to vape products also date back to 2016. At the time, a deadline of 2018 was established, by which electronic cigarettes should have been approved before going on the market. The limit was later extended to 2022, but San Francisco rejected this measure.
The FDA (which on other products such as i diabetes test is much more prompt) has slowed this control in an almost inexplicable way.
"While we await the timing of yet another postponement of FDA controls, a new generation of children could fall victim to tobacco addiction, with all the social and health consequences of the case," reads the ordinance of the city on the Pacific. "San Francisco does not intend to stand by and watch as e-cigarettes cause a health crisis affecting its citizens."