San Francisco became the first major U.S. City to ban electronic cigarettes Tuesday (June 25). The measure restricts the purchase of e-cigarettes in the city in addition to barring residents from ordering them online and having them shipped to a San Francisco address, USA Today reports.
The new restriction was put in place in an effort to curb a rise in vaping among high schoolers, but opponents argue that adults consumers will suffer. The temporary prohibition is expected to last until e-cigarettes are up for safety review by the USDA sometime around 2022.
E-cigarette devices heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user then inhales. The liquid typically contains addictive nicotine, flavoring, and other “harmful” chemicals, per the U.S. Surgeon General. The use of e-cigarettes has reportedly “grown dramatically in the last five years.” Last year, 1 in 5 high school students reported using e-cigarettes at least once over the course of a month.
Juul Labs, a popular electronic cigarettes company, argues that adults who switched to vaping will be driven “back to deadly cigarettes” thanks to the ban. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Juul is working to lock in a ballot initiative that would allow the company to continue selling e-cigarettes in the city.