Looking at all the available evidence, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) war on vaping is a misguided assault on the millions of smokers trying to find a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes. But to radical San Francisco city officials, the agency doesn’t go far enough in keeping consumers “safe” from reduced-risk products. Radical in San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s meant embracing the hippy culture and individualism, but now, San Francisco officials are embracing big government and fake science.
On June 19, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors preliminarily approved an ordinance barring brick-and-mortar and online e-cigarette sales citywide. The final vote is not until next week, but based on the previous statements of key city officials, the move is a foregone conclusion. In March, City Attorney Dennis Herrera charged that the “the FDA has failed to do its job when it comes to e-cigarettes,” amidst an alleged “epidemic” of youth use.
But these “common-sense regulations” would spark a public-health crisis in San Francisco as vapers revert to combustible products to satisfy cravings. Real common-sense reform grounded in science would make these products easier, not more difficult, for adults to purchase.
In 2018, San Francisco dealt the first big blow to cigarette smokers struggling to curb their addiction when a 2017 decision by the Board of Supervisors to ban the sale of flavored vaping products was upheld via referendum.
Taking a page from (failed) FDA leadership, city officials claimed that flavored products were targeted and marketed toward kids. Never mind that, according to a 2016 survey of more than 27,000 e-cigarette users of all ages, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents “credited tasty flavors with helping them give up tobacco.” And, according to data cited by the (very) anti-vaping Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 96 percent of non-smoking teenagers reported not being allured by e-cigarettes regardless of flavor. In fact, every credible scientific study has shown that teens who try vaping do not go on to smoke.
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