San Luis Obispo bans sales of electronic cigarettes
–The San Luis Obispo City Council on Tuesday adopted an ordinance prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarette products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the city announced in a press release. The rule effectively bans all e-cigs and vaping products.
“Members of our community value living in a city that is healthy and safe for everyone, particularly for our youth,” said assistant to the city manager, Ryan Betz. “Over the past year, the City has monitored the issue of the sale of electronic cigarettes at the national, state and local levels and we now join more than 55 other cities and counties in California, including the City of Arroyo Grande and the County of San Luis Obispo, who have instituted similar restrictions.”
In response to concerns expressed by community members about the popularity of electronic cigarettes with the youth, the city council—at its October 1, 2019 meeting—directed staff to analyze issues related to prohibiting or limiting the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes products within the City. Specifically, the City Council expressed concerns regarding the popularity and effects of e-cigarettes products on the youth in the community.
The new ordinance will go into effect on May 4, 2020, giving retailers a few months to remove these products from their inventories. Electronic smoking devices can be used to deliver an inhaled dose of nicotine. The ordinance also prohibits the sale of flavored vape juices and liquids used in an electronic smoking device, including electronic cigars, electronic cigarillos, electronic pipes, and electronic hookahs.
The authority to regulate all tobacco products on the market, including e-cigarettes, falls under the FDA. To date, no electronic cigarette products have received premarket review by the FDA.
A study commissioned by the California Fuels & Convenience Alliance recently reported that one year into San Francisco’s flavored vape and tobacco ban, the city has lost $17 million in sales, $2.2 million in wages, and $2.06 million in local tax revenue as a direct result of the ban, along with the loss of 81 jobs.
In June of 2018, voters in San Francisco passed a proposition banning the sale of flavored tobacco and vape products. A year into the ban, CFCA commissioned a study of the economic impact the ban. While city staff originally reported there would be minimal economic impact, the study shows the extent of impact, not only on stores and employees, but on city tax revenue, as well.