San Francisco has proven once again they’re one of the worst places to be a vaper in America.
It’s nothing new for vapers at large to face some seriously unfair scrutiny from time to time. However, those living in the wrong places have faced the harshest and most sustained attacks on their vaping rights. Both sides of the vaping debate see the severity of the situation, but anti-vapers are convinced e-cigarettes are doing more harm than good, leading teens into a life of smoking. Meanwhile, pro-vapers point to a growing pile of peer-reviewed evidence they believe makes a strong case for the needed distinction between vaping and smoking in both regulation and public perception. As you can imagine, this makes vaping regulations in America quite complicated given the size and number of different jurisdictions.
As such, some cities and states have proven themselves to be true friends of the vaping industry, while sadly others have a deserved reputation for limiting vaping rights. One of the biggest offenders is none other than San Francisco, whose citizens just last year passed the nation’s strictest vaping flavor ban. Now they’re aiming at another national first, an outright ban on both in-store and online sales city-wide. As you can imagine, the news was met with serious concern from the vaping community. They’re mainly calling attention to several glaring flaws in the proposed plan, such as a lack of new restrictions on combustible cigarettes.
The move was formally proposed earlier this month by city officials. It would effectively ban vaping in the city by making it illegal to get vaping products while there, even if ordered online. This would become the first outright ban of its type in the US, where many are worried about similar bans gaining traction. Based on the landslide passing of last years vaping flavor ban, it’s unlikely the citizens will push back on the prohibition enough to prevent it from becoming law. According to the officials, their ban would only last until the FDA’s deeming rules go into effect, but many in the vaping community are skeptical of San Francisco taking it back once it’s in place. In fact, a growing number of people now believe the primary goal of these recent anti-vaping moves is actually to drive Juul Labs out of the city.
Just in case you think this is some sort of conspiracy theory, just hear what Shamann Walton, San Francisco City Supervisor, had to say about Juul, “we don’t want them in our city.” That sentiment is crystal clear when you hear about another regulation in the pipeline, which would make it illegal to produce or distribute vaping products within city limits. As you can imagine, if this is made into law, it would basically force one of the fastest growing corporations of all time out of their city. Making matters worse for many is their apparent disinterest with further regulations for combustible cigarettes.
Should We Care?
Given how much evidence we have supporting vaping, and how strongly the city officials are fighting against it, you’d be safe to assume they don’t put much stock into independent, peer-reviewed research. For starters, we’ve known going back to 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking thanks to a report published by none other than England’s public health agency PHE. That report made huge news at the time, but ever since we’ve gotten other studies which find similar results. In fact, just a few months back a team of scientists concluded cigarette smoke is about 93% more toxic than e-liquid vapor. But nothing proves the harm reduction value of vaping quite like the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is about 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.
It’s not just harm reduction either. Several reputable studies have shown other significant reasons to support vaporizers. For example, the so-called teenage vaping “epidemic” has been seriously overblown by the media. A report of over 60,000 teens concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking students are ever picking up a vape regularly. Lastly, we also know vaping is an extremely effective smoking cessation tool thanks to work by researchers at the University of Louisville. They tested all the most common smoking cessation aids and methods to determine the most likely to succeed. After collecting and analyzing all their data, the team concluded not only is vaping effective, it’s actually the single most likely to work as intended.
It’s not easy being a vaper these days no matter where you live. Between the poor public perception and encroaching regulations, it’s always a battle. But for those living in places like San Francisco, things are that much worse. Not only were their vaping flavors taken away last year, but now it seems vapes altogether will be gone soon enough. That’s why it’s so important we use the time we still have to teach others about everything e-cigarettes have to offer. If more smokers knew precisely how much they had to gain, or what was really at stake, it wouldn’t be so easy for legislators to swoop in and regulate the industry to death.
What’s the most shocking thing San Francisco has been willing to do to fight vaping? Do you worry this move will lead to more bans elsewhere? What’s the best way to teach others about the value of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.