San Francisco leads nation with ban on flavored vaping products

Congratulations, San Francisco, for passing the nation’s first ban on the sale of candy-flavored vaping products. The evidence is clear that such e-cigarettes are an outrageously brazen ploy to snare the next generation into nicotine addiction.

I am appalled that the “No on Proposition E” campaign was almost entirely funded by my family’s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. It outspent the “Yes on Prop. E” campaign many times over. This was a David versus Goliath battle, Big Tobacco against health advocates.

San Franciscans are looking out for our kids, not protecting tobacco profits. The City by the Bay has stepped in to do what the ineffective U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have done when e-cigarettes and candy flavorings first appeared. While the FDA banned candy-flavored tobacco cigarettes in 2009, e-cigarettes were not included.

Why is San Francisco’s measure so important? Incredibly, the FDA just gave the e-cigarette makers an additional four years of inaction. This will allow them to go on unimpeded until 2022, and to continue luring kids to try their addictive products with flavors like grape, gummy bear and cotton candy. I struggle to understand why.

From 2011 to 2016, vaping among our nation’s youth increased drastically, from 1.5 percent to 11.3 percent. Today, far more kids are vaping than smoking (11.3 percent vs. 8 percent). In fact, many teens who would never try regular cigarettes are using e-cigarettes without any awareness that they could trigger a lifetime addiction to nicotine. This is a public health epidemic among America’s youth.

Ominously, a new study found that 63 percent of young Juul vapers (the newest craze) did not even know the product contains nicotine. Research by UC San Francisco shows that many kids who vape are likely to go on to smoke traditional cigarettes a year later. Banning flavored vape juices then also helps keep children away from cigarettes.

Read more at https://www.sfchronicle.com

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