San Francisco Vaping Ban “Makes No Sense”

San Francisco Vaping Ban “Makes No Sense” According to Public Health Expert

Once again, we find ourselves here going backwards as San Francisco has just amazingly voted to ban
vaping in residential apartments, causing another prominent public health expert and anti-smoking
campaigner to declare this stance as “opposite of what we should be doing” to improve societal
health.
The vote of 10 San Francisco board supervisors to 1 now prohibits the smoking of traditional
cigarettes in addition to vaping, however they have chosen to exempt cannabis from this bill,
severely undermining the declared aim of reducing harm according to Dr Michael Seigel.
The primary belief behind the regulator’s actions, is that ‘nobody in an apartment should be exposed
to harmful combusted products from any adjacent apartments’. Yet as Dr Seigel states there can be
no way of justifying “banning tobacco but not cannabis”.
Speaking in a conference call with associated press journalists, the professor of community health
science at Boston University School of Public Health also highlighted how this will negatively affect
those trying to quit smoking using e-cigarettes for a nicotine replacement treatment, causing
smoking rates to remain higher which regulators are supposed to be pursuing decreasing. “(Vaping)
is a very effective mechanism for smokers to quit” Siegel acknowledged when referencing a landmark
scientific study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found nicotine delivery via
vaping it with an e-cig was the most effective method to quit smoking over the longer established
alternative therapies of gum, patches, lozenges and medications.
Dr Siegel doesn’t beat around the bush with his criticism of this ban, adding “what it is essentially
doing is telling smokers, if you smoke we have nothing to offer you”, going even further we would say
it almost immediately eradicates the ability to conveniently legally use the most effective method of
quitting. Dr Siegel backs this notion and recognises that “second-hand vapour from e-cigarettes is
considerably less harmful than second-hand smoke”, so in effect what San Francisco has done
actually violates the “harm reduction” objective of the public health body by constraining a safer
smoking alternative.
If passed this ordinance will then charge the city’s public health department with enforcing this ban,
leaving violators facing fines of up to $1,000 per day along with a likely mandatory eviction notice. Dr
Siegel was joined for the interview by Ulrik Boesen, a senior analyst for the non-partisan Tax
Foundation to examine how this ban would impact state revenues. Using the example of
Massachusetts where in 2019 flavoured vaping products were banned and then flavoured tobacco
(menthol cigarettes) were banned June this year, causing a substantial fall in revenue but crucially
not a decline in smoking rates. Meanwhile their neighbouring states reported revenues rises of
between 20%-60%, due to the ban proving so unpopular within Massachusetts itself. Boesen says
simply “they didn’t achieve their public health goal…to get less people to smoke”, which makes us
question whose side these regulators are really on.
Moreover this isn’t even San Francisco’s first smoking health policy error, “only months ago San
Francisco banned the sale of electronic cigarettes, interestingly they didn’t ban cigarettes”, which
again begs the question why ban something that is safer than smoking and can help you quit it. This
ban on the sale of all e-cigarettes within San Francisco will only cease once the long-term effects on
humans are identified or the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) takes over-ruling federal action on
the laws surrounding these products. Once this measure is past the final reading stage as anticipated,
San Francisco becomes one of the harshest municipalities in not only the USA but the world for
nicotine vape products.
However there is a slimmer of hope for the city’s vapers, as the ban did originally include smoking
and vaping cannabis containing products which included all medicinal forms and CBD variants as well
but this was dropped after substantial retaliation from the marijuana lobbying the board of
supervisors to amend the bill, so we can only hope it’s not too late for the vaping industry to do the
same.

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