San Francisco has become the first major city in the United States to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes. According to news reports, supporters say they hope this new law, passed by supervisors in a final vote on June 25, will help curb use of e-cigarettes by young people. However, critics maintain that it will make it more difficult for adults to purchase “an alternative” to regular, tobacco cigarettes.
This move also means that Juul Labs, the nation’s leading e-cigarette company, may no longer be allowed to remain headquartered in San Francisco. Last year, voters approved a ban on sale of flavored tobacco, and in 2016, a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. E-cigarettes have now become the most commonly used nicotine-delivery devices among young people.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of middle and high school students who use nicotine products went up by 36 percent from 2017 to 2018. Health officials attribute this alarming trend to e-cigarette use. Studies have also consistently shown that e-cigarette use is linked to heart attacks, strokes and lung disease.
Health experts say the presence of e-cigarettes has completely reversed the progress that has been made in youth smoking over the last couple of decades. With young people having such free access, it has become difficult to make any kind of progress on that front. The Food and Drug Administration, despite taking a few steps here and there, has pretty much left the issue to states and municipalities.
The FDA has said it will continue to tackle the “epidemic” of e-cigarette use by preventing access to youth, taking action against manufacturers and retailers who illegally market or sell these products to minors and educating youth about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
While the adverse health effects of e-cigarettes have raised significant concern among public health officials, exploding vaping devices that have caused devastating injuries have proved even more worrisome. It’s crucial that federal, state and local governments take the necessary enforcement steps to regulate these products and most importantly, ensure that they kept out of the hands of our young people.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of using e-cigarettes or vaping products, our product defect attorneys can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.