In the past, San Francisco has been celebrated for being one of the most liberal cities in the entire country. People from other parts of the United States have actually moved to the California city to enjoy all of the benefits that come along with living there.
But unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like San Francisco is a great place to be right now if you enjoy vaping. That’s because San Francisco is currently poised to become the very first city in the country to ban flavored e-juices from stores. There have been other cities that have taken steps to reduce access to flavored e-juices, but no cities have gone to the lengths that San Francisco is about to go.
This is obviously very problematic both for store owners and for vapers. Store owners will no longer be allowed to sell flavored e-juices to customers as of April 2018. And vapers won’t be able to buy flavored e-juices at any stores. They will, curiously, be able to order flavored e-juices from online retailers if they want, but this isn’t always going to be super convenient for vapers—and it’s also going to put plenty of vape shops out of business.
Despite the drawbacks to this new law, San Francisco city supervisors don’t seem to care about the consequences that will come along with banning flavored e-juices. But mark our words: It will be an issue for the city, and San Francisco will regret putting this ban into place. Let’s take a closer look at why they’re doing it—and why they should think twice about putting this new law into effect.
The Reason Behind the Flavored E-Juice Ban in San Francisco
San Francisco is banning flavored e-juices for the same reason that many other cities and towns have come down hard on vaping. They falsely believe that flavored e-juices are going to serve as a “gateway” to smoking for many young people.
Yes, believe it or not, even a city as large and seemingly forward-thinking as San Francisco has fallen for one of the biggest vaping myths. San Francisco city supervisors think that e-juice flavors like cotton candy and even something as simple as mint are going to somehow encourage teens to vape.
“We’re focusing on flavored products because they are widely considered to be a starter product for future smokers,” one San Francisco city supervisor said late last week.
Forget that there is absolutely no evidence that shows that vaping is a “gateway” to smoking. For whatever reason, important people still choose to believe that myth, and in this case, it’s going to cost a lot of people jobs and hurt the local vaping community in San Francisco.
Why It’s Not a Good Reason
Shortly after San Francisco announced the ban on flavored e-juices, Gregory Conley, who is the president of the American Vaping Association, said that he thinks the ban is “complete” nonsense—and we couldn’t agree with him more. He also pointed out that, by banning a bunch of e-juice flavors, San Francisco is actively ignoring all of the potential benefits that come along with using those e-juice flavors.
There are many people in San Francisco who rely on flavored e-juices to help them on their quest to quit smoking. So while the San Francisco city supervisors might think they’re doing a good thing by banning flavored e-juices, they could actually be doing irreparable harm.
In theory, the San Francisco ban on flavored e-juices is supposed to stop kids from getting their hands on vaping products. But what about all of the people who might be forced to turn back to smoking when they can’t get the vaping products they want? This is a double-edged sword for San Francisco that could end up hurting them.
What the Vaping Community Is Saying About the Ban
The vaping community is, understandably, not happy with the city of San Francisco for banning certain e-juice flavors. It would be one thing if some little town in the middle of nowhere came out against vaping and banned flavored e-juices, but this is San Francisco we’re talking about. This is a city that’s supposed to smarter than this.
While speaking about the ban, Conley mentioned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study that found that smoking and vaping rates are down throughout the country. So the vaping community feels wrongly attacked by San Francisco in this instance. Why is the city banning products and trying to keep kids away from vaping when there is no evidence to show that this ban is necessary at the moment?
The real concern here is that other cities are going to follow San Francisco’s lead and ban flavored e-juices, too. And outside of making life more difficult on individual vapers in those cities, such bans would also portray the vaping industry in a negative light for no real reason. It’s why we hope cities think long and hard about whether or not these kinds of bans are necessary.
How You—Yes, You!—Can Help Stop Flavored E-Juice Bans
Are you outraged over what is happening in San Francisco right now? Hopefully you are. And hopefully you’re willing to try and do something about it.
There is actually one more vote that needs to be taken before San Francisco bans flavored e-juices, and while it looks like that vote is going to make the decision final, the Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association is not going to give up without a fight.
They have set up a site that allows you to write directly to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco urging them not to ban flavored e-juices. And even if letters from vapers aren’t able to make the difference that is needed to vote the ban down, it will show that the vaping community is not going to give up in the face of adversity.
What’s happening in San Francisco right now is wrong—and we all need to make sure it doesn’t happen in others cities. If you hear about your local officials trying to put a similar ban into place, start fighting it early and get it shot down. You will help yourself, your fellow vapers, and the vaping community as a whole in the process.