Despite Recent FDA Announcement, San Fran Considering Banning Flavored Vapes
Last month, the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors decided in favour of a long disputed ban of all flavoured tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, flavored chewing tobacco and nicotine containing flavored e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. The ban was expected to go into effect on April 1, 2018.
In response to this, a campaign called ‘Let’s Be Real San Francisco’ was immediately formed and started collecting signatures for a petition asking to repeal the ban. The draft of the proposed measure, “Referenda: Repeal of Ordinance Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products” was filed with the Department of Elections. “We’re trying to overturn the ban,” said Jaime Rojas, a spokesperson for the movement, adding, “the government has overreached on this issue.”‘Let’s Be Real San Francisco‘ is “a coalition of adult consumers, neighborhood retailers and advocates for free choice” which believes in harm reduction rather than prohibition.
Renowned harm reduction advocate and founder of ‘Not Blowing Smoke’ Stefan Didak, is also playing a main role in this campaign. “We got the referendum signatures delivered, all 34,000 of them (we needed 19,405), and now the 11 month process begins of building up and executing the campaign.” he said yesterday in a direct correspondence with Vaping Post.
Authorities urged to regulate products according to their health risks
Public experts have also been speaking up against this flavor ban since it extends to flavored safer alternatives such as e-liquids for electronic cigarettes. “Lawmakers who understand the value of harm reduction need to reconsider why they are taking away products that encourage smokers to move away from cigarettes.” said Harm Reduction Policy Director of nonprofit R Street Institute and former drug-abuse researcher at the University of Minnesota and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California, Carrie Wade, last month.
Naturally these experts are in agreement that banning flavours for cigarettes is a good move, but banning also e-liquid flavours, when these are known to be a key motivatorfor adult smokers in switching to the safer alternatives, is being considered detrimental to public health.