The board adopted the legislation on Tuesday, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed has 10 days to sign it. She has already said she wants to. When that happens, San Francisco will be the first US city to ban the sale of e-cigarettes.
But in a digital first world, what does arms ban really mean?
The regulation comes into force seven months after the mayor signed it, so likely in early 2020. When that happens, San Francisco plans to pay $ 1000 fines and penalties up to $ 1000 per break at any retailer selling e-cigarettes or flavored tobacco to a city resident.
First, the city will reach o out to tobacco distributors and inform them of the new rules, according to the office of the bill's co-author, tutor Shamann Walton.
"But every company is responsible for knowing and obeying the law," his chief of staff Natalie Gee said. "The Department of Public Health will respond to complaints about violations and will work with the City Attorney to determine measures to investigate and monitor compliance."
The San Francisco Institute of Public Health and City Attorney will work together under the new law. DPH will decide whether a reseller has sold e-cigarettes to anyone in San Francisco, with the option of imposing a maximum of $ 1000 penalty. The department can then report the violation to the City Attorney's office for further orders and fines. There are no implications for residents of San Francisco who buy e-cigarettes online – that's all at retailers.
San Francisco is officially the first US city to ban e-cigarette sales https://t.co/ELwsPsL1RW pic.twitter.com/3YRieA1GHe
– Engadget (@engadget) 25 June 2019
This is similar to the system in place to block the sale of large magazines in California. In 2017, San Francisco City lawyer Dennis Herrera sued five online gun equipment dealers to break state and local law by selling "repair kits" that were actually deconstructing large-capacity magazines. He won that suit and forced the companies to update their websites with clear language about California law and remove the state as a shipping option. The companies paid a total of $ 22,500 to cover the city's survey costs.
It was like a state goal, while the electronic e-cigarette ban is an overriding ordinance that potentially complicates the process of suing non-local businesses. Other California cities are considering similar updates of their laws, including Bay Area's Richmond and Livermore. Alex Knox, Chief of Staff of Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, said the city still considered ways to approach a ban on electronic sales of e-cigarettes, using San Francisco as an example.
In most US states, the legal age of buying tobacco products and e-cigarettes is 18, but in California it is 21. It is already illegal for teenagers to buy e-cigarettes, but by the San Francisco Board's own accounts, Bay Bay high schoolers in record numbers. Online sales are a critical part of this market.
Of course, the ban also affects adult e-cigarette users, many of whom are beginning to wake up to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Cigarette sales remain legal in San Francisco.
It is already illegal for teenagers to buy e-cigarettes.
Juul, the most prominent e-cigarette mark around, has its headquarters at Pier 70 in San Francisco, and a new law campaign has been launched. The company is trying to get an initiative in the November vote that would exceed this week's ordination and allow companies to sell e-cigarettes in stores and online again. Juul has until July 8 to collect at least 9,485 signatures and do it on the ballot paper this fall.
Under San Francisco's new rules, it will be up to consumers and scales to report sites willing to send e-cigarettes to the city. There is no tracking mechanism to ensure vaporizers do not make it to San Francisco; There is no algorithm that blocks websites from adding the city to their shipments. Just a threat of punishment if someone complains.
The ban on electronic e-cigarette sales is a road block, not a guaranteed brake mechanism. It is unclear whether it is important either, especially since most people who are targeted at the ban cannot yet run.