Working class people are being told to “just die” by those governing San Francisco, one advocacy group argues in the wake of the decision by the city to ban vaping.
The San Francisco ban is government at its worst, Lindsay Mark Lewis, executive director of the Progressive Policy Institute, a Democrat-leaning think tank, told Tobacco News Wire.
In a unanimous vote, the city's board of supervisors ruled that the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes will be outlawed. The city houses the corporate headquarters of Juul, a leading producer of the products.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who co-authored the ordinance, said in a statement: “This is a decisive step to help prevent another generation of San Francisco children from becoming addicted to nicotine.”
“This temporary moratorium wouldn't be necessary if the federal government had done its job,” he added.
“E-cigarettes are a product that, by law, are not allowed on the market without FDA review. For some reason, the FDA has so far refused to follow the law. If the federal government is not going to act, San Francisco will.”
Vaping is largely unregulated, but the Food and Drug Administration has allowed companies a window until 2022 to furnish evidence of its impact on health.
“The San Fran ban is government at its worst, a typical use of punishment with no appreciation of science or a path forward for smokers,” Lewis said.
Fifteen percent of adults in the U.S. smoke, even after 20 years of tax increases and hard-hitting anti smoking campaigns, he said.
“It is clear these smokers are not going to quit and these folks are over represented by the working class whites, LGBT, minority communities and the San Fran elites have abandoned all of these and said 'just die,'” he said.
“The City Supervisors and the Mayor should be held accountable for every death in San Fran related to burning tobacco going forward.”
In an opinion piece in the San Francisco Examiner, David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization, said a ban that removes all vapor products risks relapses among people who stopped smoking cigarettes.
“Simply put, prohibition does not work. Lawmakers have the responsibility to enforce reasonable expectations. With that, let’s do this responsibly, we should focus on regulation, responsible marketing and accountability for companies that violate policies,” Johns said.