In perhaps the strictest move against e-cigarettes in American history, voters have elected to uphold a ban on flavoured e-liquid and vaping products.
The ban includes restrictions to any e-liquid packaging resembling candies or juice flavours, as well as menthol cigarettes, as San Franciscans resoundingly backed the new ban.
The move is known as Proposition E and anti-vaping health groups are hoping that the move could influence more communities.
If you’re planning on travelling to San Francisco with your e-cig this summer, one of the most popular locations for UK tourists in the USA, you might not be able to buy your favourite e-liquid.
The ‘Yes’ campaign, which supported the ban, won by a resounding 68%. Critics of the ban have argued that the move could invoke a black market crime wave and have likened the ban to prohibition.
Dr. Melissa Welch, a representative for the American Heart Association, which supported the San Franciscan ban, praised the decision, stating that the ban stops “the sale of candy-flavoured tobacco before nicotine addiction claims a new generation of young people.”
Despite fierce legislation in the United States against e-cigarettes and the vaping industry, there have been pockets of support for e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation among American scientists and medical personnel.
A study carried out in April at the University of Michigan argued that vaping can help public health and help smokers quit.
Moreover, Libertarians have protesting the decision, arguing that the Government’s influence in vaping matters is too far reaching. Miriam Zouzounis, a boarding member of the Arab American Grocers Association, said “Anchor products allow us to stay competitive to big-box stores, and we will lose regular customers that keep our doors open.”
The Arab American Grocers Association represents over 400 businesses in San Francisco.
The ban will formally take effect in the next few days.