For the past several years, e-cigarette sales have been on the rise as an alternative to traditional smoking. The problem is that the major consumer of this product is often young people. Products like Juul were created to help longtime smokers finally quit the habit. While Juul has proven to help adults improve their health by foregoing the dangerous chemicals in traditional cigarettes, the product has also gotten a lot of underage kids hooked on nicotine unnecessarily. Now, San Francisco has become the first city to ban e-cigarettes completely, according to Forbes.
Juul Labs, where the product happens to be produced, is actually located in San Francisco, California. Last week, legislators came to the unanimous decision to ban all sales of electronic cigarettes, including Juuls and Juul pods, completely. The e-cigarette giant plans to counter the decision by proposing an alternative law that would only prevent the sales of Juul products to those under the age of 21-years-old.
Elsewhere in the United States, you only have to be 18-years-old to purchase a product with nicotine. This includes Juuls, and all Juul accessories. The flavored pods that are necessary for vaping with a Juul can be purchased at just about any convenience store or gas station, when the individual shows their driver’s license. Of course many kids get past this rule by simply having someone older purchase the pods for them.
The Food and Drug Administration has been after Juul for years, trying to remove the product from shelves completely.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Shamann Walton were among those who pushed for the ban in San Francisco to be made. Walton stated that it’s about time the city begins to take the health of their young people seriously.
“I’m not going to put profits of Big Tobacco over the health of our children and our young people. Companies like Juul have had three years to submit their product and marketing to the FDA. The question is why haven’t they? And the answer is because they want to protect their profits to continue targeting and protecting our young people.”
The ban might not last forever, but won’t be lifted until at least 2021. There’s no denying that those under the age of 21 will still likely find other ways to get their e-cigarette products. They could have someone of legal age purchase the products for them or simply go outside the city limits where there is no ban. However, this ban is a step towards majorly decreasing sales.