and it looks like it will make it just in time for November. The Department of Elections on Wednesday certified a ballot measure seeking to overturn the current prohibition. This specific measure was placed on the ballot through a signature campaign by the Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulations, which is funded by San Francisco-based vaping manufacturer Juul.
The group collected more than double the 9,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot and submitted them to the department for certification just this last week. “This initiative will bring the strongest regulation for an age-restricted product in the City – more than alcohol and other tobacco products,” Nate Allbee, spokesperson for the Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation, said continuing; “We are confident voters do not want to ban the best mechanism for quitting smoking while leaving cigarettes, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., on the shelves. These regulations are the best way to stop youth vaping.”
The measure includes limits on the number of devices and nicotine cartridges stores and online retailers can sell in a single transaction and a requirement stores use technology to scan customers identification to verify it is valid.
“Juul being a leader in this campaign is appropriate. They are a San Francisco company. They are hiring thousands of San Franciscans and thousands of San Franciscans are using their product,” Allbee said.
Supervisor Shamann Walton, the original author of the current standing vaping sales ban, had nothing but roses to say about the campaign; “Juul will continue to work hard to deliberately deliver misguided messages to the residents here in San Francisco,” Walton said, adding; "The amount of money they are spending on targeting our young people for a lifetime addiction to nicotine is disgusting.”
Juul has recently reported spending another $1 million on the campaign, bringing the total to $1.5 million. Companies have spent millions in recent years on campaigns seeking to overturn San Francisco health-related policies, without success.
San Francisco is no stranger to stupid bans and taxes, in 2016 the soda industry spent $22.6 million in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat the soda tax measure, and in 2018, R.J. Reynolds spent $12.8 million with no success to reject a ban on flavored tobacco.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the vaping sales ban on June 25 and Mayor London Breed also supported it. The sales ban would remain in effect until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidance after reviewing the products for their health impacts, and we all know that will probably never happen so it's basically an indefinite ban on eLiquids and vapes.
Breed is of course completely ignorant of the science of vaping and a rather basic politician, stating; “We need to take action to protect the health of San Francisco’s youth and prevent the next generation of San Franciscans from becoming addicted to these products.”
Why is it that whenever adults choose to do something, and other adults don't like it, the basic political response is always "Why don't you think of the children?" Gotta kind of feel for JUUL on this one though, imagine starting a successful company and your own city outright bans your product, and then you have to get political and pay to get your product unbanned. That has got to sting.