San Francisco Vape Flavor Ban

California Vape Flavor Ban Legislation by State Senator Jerry Hill

Just when the industry was hoping for some reprieve things seem to be moving in the wrong direction. When San Francisco voters upheld the city’s ban on flavored vapor and tobacco products in June, supporters of the new law predicted it would spark a prohibition trend, and they were right. More than two dozen California municipalities have enacted some sort of flavored tobacco ban.

Six California state legislators have introduced bills that would ban all retail sales of flavored e-liquid and other vaping products statewide. The bill will also prohibit sales of menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, cigarillos, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff and other tobacco based products.

The law does not exempt vape shops, even though they’re already prohibited from selling to anyone under the age of twenty-one. If passed, it will put every vape shop in California out of business, despite comment from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says that vape shop sales to minors are not a serious problem.

The bill also imposes strict rules for online sales, including a requirement for an adult signature at delivery, and the statement “CONTAINS TOBACCO PRODUCTS: SIGNATURE OF PERSON 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY” printed “conspicuously” on the package.

The bill will be introduced by Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill, and is supported by four other Democratic senators, and Democratic Assembly member Kevin McCarty. Hill, a former assembly member and onetime mayor of San Mateo, represents the 13th Senate District, which includes San Francisco.

California is the country’s most populous state, and it counts on cigarette taxes and Master Settlement Agreement payments (determined by the number of cigarettes sold) to pay for many state programs. The state has increased cigarette taxes substantially, but never gets around to proposing a ban on the deadliest tobacco product.

Politicians are looking for easy wins at the vaping industry to build support in their precincts. Even with the FDA working to develop its own regulations on vapor products many local governments are moving forward with laws of their own. Unfortunately, most people view vapers similarly to smokers, especially in health consciences states like California.

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