California

Will San Franciscans Vote to Ban Flavored Vaping?

A well-intentioned public health proposal could creation a public health problem by limiting options for smokers who want to quit.

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Voters in San Francisco will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether the city should ban flavored nicotine products, including vaping fluids.

The ban on flavored tobacco and vaping products is being presented as a necessary measure designed to improve public health and as a way to keep nicotine away from children. But if Proposition E is approved by voters, it could make it more difficult for smokers to kick their tobacco habit. By prohibiting relatively safer and more attractive options, San Francisco could create a set of incentives that leaves nicotine-addicted residents sucking on the cancer sticks.

San Francisco's proposed ban is the most high profile example yet, but it's merely part of an ongoing trend of cities across California taking steps to prohibit flavored nicotine products from being sold to anyone regardless of age. Sonoma, Berkeley, and Manhattan Beach have passed ordinances banning the sale of flavored tobacco products and some flavored vaping fluids. Similar bans have been passed but not yet implemented in Beverley Hills, Palo Alto, San Mateo, and elsewhere.

As I wrote in April, there cities are moving in exactly the wrong direction, as a growing body of scientific and medical evidence demonstrates that vaping helps smokers quit.

In January, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued an advisory opinion to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showing that e-cigarettes could be life-savers. "E-cigarette aerosol contains fewer numbers and lower levels of most toxicants than smoke from combustible tobacco cigarettes does," wrote University of Washington toxicologist David Eaton, who authored the report. "Laboratory tests of e-cigarette ingredients, in vitro toxicological tests, and short-term human studies suggest that e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes."

A victory for Prop E would be a big loss for public health, says Michelle Minton, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank in Washington, D.C.

"They are using the specter of big tobacco targeting children to convince voters to institute stricter regulations that will make e-cigarettes harder to get, more expensive, and less attractive than actual cigarettes," Minton writes.

In San Francisco, backers of the ban have claimed opposition comes from Big Tobacco and have disregarded the many small businesses that could be forced to close or move if Prop E passes. Tobacco companies have "shrewdly allowed local shop owners to serve as the sympathetic face of the campaign, arguing that local pols looking to beat up on Big Tobacco are actually putting mom and pop out of business," the San Francisco Chronicle claims in its editorial advocating for a "yes" vote on Prop E.

It's true that big tobacco companies like R.J. Reynolds have spent more than $11 million opposing Prop E. But that doesn't begin to compare to the more than $75 million the California Department of Health has spent on a new anti-vaping campaign—funded by taxpayers—that's been hitting California TVs since January.

And the Prop E advocates basically ignore the fact that the ban on flavored nicotine products will do real damage to real businesses in San Francisco. Dozens of business owners protested the proposed ban outside of city hall in April.

"We just legalized marijuana. Now you want to ban menthol cigarettes?" Shawn Richard, one of those protesters, told a local TV station. "I mean come on. For real? That doesn't make any sense."

Only in California, Shawn.

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  1. …it could make it more difficult for smokers to kick their tobacco habit.

    Small sacrifice to make in order to have an official instead of individual solution the smoking problem.

  2. Fucking fascists.

    1. This state is doomed to fall. The bad days are at our doors in CA.

  3. only the commies know what’s best for you.

    they’re pro choice – they choose and you must comply or face the wrath of central committee.

  4. The subheading indicates this is “well intentioned”. It is not. It is all about busybodies being busybodies. Instead of giving them credit for intentions, they ought to be called out for the assholes they are.

    1. Above a certain threshold of ignorance, intentions really shouldn’t be considered good anymore.

  5. The ban on flavored tobacco and vaping products is being presented as a necessary measure designed to improve public health and as a way to keep nicotine away from children.

    Either you support this or you want children to die. Why do you want children to die?

    1. Our laws that are supposed to prevent children from buying this stuff are so ineffective that we need more ineffective laws to prevent anyone from buying this stuff. That should work, right?

    2. “Why do you want children to die?”
      Ever been around them? Obnoxious rug crawlers…

  6. They should make ‘stealth’ flavors distinctly not targeted towards children. Automobile exhaust, homeless person BO, and sun-baked walrus would work nicely in SF. Then the notion of being targeted towards children and needing to be eliminated from all corners clearly doesn’t apply.

    1. Automobile exhaust, homeless person BO, and sun-baked walrus would work nicely in SF.

      And since that’s pretty much what San Fran smells like anyway, the odor would just blend in with the natural ambiance of the city.

  7. Voters in San Francisco will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether the city should ban flavored nicotine products

    “Voters in San Francisco will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether the city should ban flavored caffeine products”

    “Voters in San Francisco will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether the city should ban flavored feminine hygiene products”

    1. “It’s a pubic wax AND a dessert topping!”

  8. Will San Franciscans Vote to Ban Flavored Vaping?

    It’s “well intentioned” and “for the children” so yes, probably. After all, anyone who opposes something like that must, by definition, have bad intentions and hate children, right?

  9. “We just legalized marijuana. Now you want to ban menthol cigarettes? I mean come on. For real? That doesn’t make any sense.”

    “Plus, it’s RACIST!”

    1. The race-card was played about 12 seconds after these proposals first started getting floated.

  10. California is 250% sick libtardville. This doomed state will team up with Detroit. So Oregon. Disgusting ! Now the CA libtards are targeting Bibles, because it is the insult against sodomites.

    1. It’s like somebody ran Simple Mikey through a shoddy Igbo translator program and back.

  11. So your telling me that the City of San Francisco is run by Authoritarians? Well I never….

    1. Yes, but ‘well intentioned’ Authoritarians!

  12. Will San Franciscans Vote to Ban Flavored Vaping?

    Doing so would be pointless, tyrannical, counterproductive, and littered with harmful second-order effects, so of course the answer is yes.

    1. Hey, SF is spending $241m to attract bums, which we then gripe about. So now we’re going to spend MORE!

      1. Oh, that’s $241m annually.

  13. $75 million the California Department of Health has spent on a new anti-vaping campaign?funded by taxpayers

    It’s called “Addiction: Not just a phase”. We’re basically paying the government to indoctrinate us into addiction theology. However that at least is progress, since the 12 Step programs are no longer as effective.

  14. “We just legalized marijuana. Now you want to ban menthol cigarettes?” Shawn Richard, one of those protesters, told a local TV station. “I mean come on. For real? That doesn’t make any sense.”

    It makes perfect sense. Democrats have been casting Tobaco and Nicotine as a True Evil (TM) for decades. Anything related to it must be eliminated with extreme prejudice. Meanwhile Pot is a wholly “harmless” product so therefore should not be illegal.

    1. God help you if you try to market flavored marijuana.

      1. Prediction: doing an about face, the next wave of progressive prohibitionists will target the fascist devil weed.

        1. Maybe. Progressivism and prohibition are pretty tightly entwined. But I think that too many of the people who vote for progressives like their legal weed. So they will probably just keep going on tobacco and pain killers.

        2. Could be. Progressivism is about always stirring the pot. Whatever the status quo is must be weeded out.

  15. Clicking on the Reason website is always an adventure: You never know where it’ll jump and have you asking for information on ‘disruptive argyle socks’ or some such.

    Anyhow, this is one of the few times when the answer to a question-headline is: You doggone well betcha!
    This is SF; home of the new political party, the Intolerant Lefty Assholes.

  16. Voters in San Francisco will go to the polls on Tuesday …..consider it passed

    1. Depends who turns out, If there is nothing else on the ballot, it might not pass. I don’t think there are too many paranoid soccer mom types who live in SF (most can’t afford to), and many of the rich tech boys who have been moving there lately probably vape too.

  17. The People’s Republic is a good example of the people knowing what they want and deserving to get it, good and hard.

  18. Its not just SF-the nannies are busy trying to ban flavored vape/tobacco products in many other progopolises too, or will be soon if the voters in SF pass this ban. If they do, it will confirm that the city that brought us Haight-Ashbury and the Grateful Dead is now nothing but a magnet for elitist assholes.

  19. A well-intentioned public health proposal

    …why is Reason assuming it is well-intentioned?

    1. You know what, whenever i see “well-intentioned” in a Reason article from now on, i’m just gonna assume it’s sarcasm. Because, functionally, it is.

      1. They should start putting quotation marks around the word.

    2. I came here to ask the exact question

    3. What do you think their intentions are?

      I don’t trust politicians stated intentions about anything, but I’m sure most of the voters vote for stuff like this with good intentions. It’s for the children, after all.

  20. They say its “for the children!”. Seriously-how many children live in SF? There are probably more couples with dogs than kids there.

    1. “There are an estimated 120,000 dogs in San Francisco, according to the city’s Animal Care and Control department. There are anywhere from 108,000 to 113,000 children, according to U.S. census figures from 2000 and 2005.”
      https://www.quora.com/Are-there-actually-
      more-dogs-than-babies-in-San-Francisco

      1. Jesus. I just don’t get having dogs in a dense city.

  21. Governments are thoroughly dependent on smokers coughing up sweet, sweet tax dollars. I think they long ago gave up any right to claim that anything they do in this matter is good for anything but themselves.

  22. A well-intentioned

    Citation needed.

  23. Lefty politics is about what it currently trendy or not. Whether or not this passes depends on whether the vaping trend is waxing or waning.

    1. Whether or not this passes depends on whether the vaping trend is waxing or waning.

      Actually, it will be a sign on whether progs are indeed smart enough to discern BS from the accepted “Science” gospel. They are trying to make it about “the children” and “Big Tobacco”. You now have to be 21 in California to smoke, vape, or consume any tobacco/nicotine product, so the first point is moot. For the second point, if the people of SF (and California in general) are stupid enough to believe that they are hurting Big Tobacco by banning flavors, they deserve the massive losses of tax revenue that will result. The state stand to lose a lot more in taxes than do the tobacco companies in profits.

      1. I make my own vaping fluid (see my comment below) for 3 reasons: a) it’s cheaper, b) its safer (not made in China), and c) IT CAN’T BE TAXED!!!

  24. Will San Franciscans Vote to Ban Flavored Vaping?

    Remember this day, folks. If this measure passes, future generations will recognize 6/5/18 as the start of Hipster’s Rebellion.

  25. Smoking cigarettes in public should never have been legal and the fact it was so popular is still a head scratcher. That said vaping should not be conflated with smoking and from what I understand nicotine by itself isn’t dangerous so the only issue should be the age limit for vaping.

    1. Said the guy who never experienced the total relaxing pleasure of smoking.

    2. Sebastian Cremmington|6.5.18 @ 1:56PM|#
      “Smoking cigarettes in public should never have been legal and the fact it was so popular is still a head scratcher.”

      Anyone named Sebastian should be kept in jail. I have never understood why they are allowed in public.
      IOWs, screw you (and no, I do not smoke).

    3. I don’t think nicotine is great for your circulatory system, but it’s a whole lot less bad than the other stuff you get from smoking.

  26. Good review here.

    http://circ.ahajournals.org/co…..72.full#T1

    Some limitations as the industry is evolving and there are differences in vape products.

    Long term studies are not yet possible. Table 1. In the review article indicates that on average far less, on order 10-100x lower dose of known carcinogens in vape vs tobacco cigarettes.

    Many smokers who have failed attempts at other methods have switched to vapes or at least smoke less tobacco cigarettes. It is also undeniable that tobacco cigarettes are far more toxic than this alternative.

  27. Is if the ban is on flavored nicotine products, would that also include tea? Nicotine is found in many foods and drinks naturally, like tea, cauliflower and potatoes. So if they’re really banning flavored nicotine products, is garlic mashed potatoes no longer allowed to be sold in the city as well?

  28. While I agree that flavoured nicotine products are more harmful than non-flavoured, they still don’t hold a candle (pun intended) to the flammable tobacco products. I’ve been vaping for almost five years now, after having smoked cigarettes for 57 years. I haven’t bought a pack of cigarettes since I started vaping. My primary reasons were at first, just economic. Where I live, a pack of cigarettes runs $13. I make a month’s worth of UNFLAVOURED (roughly equivalent to a carton of cigarettes) for around $15. I am still addicted to nicotine, but that’s not what kills you in smoking. I buy all of my ingredients from reputable chemical supply houses on the Internet. All ingredients are USP grade.

    60 ml propylene glycol (an FDA approved sweetener)
    40 ml glycerine (an FDA approved fatty acid and something your own body produces)
    0.2 ml nicotinic acid

    This makes close to two months (at my consumption rate) of vaping fluid.

    I don’t like flavoured cigarettes (I used to like rum and maple tobacco, but they don’t make it any more). You actually can add two drops of oil of cinnamon or oil of cloves (available at CVS) if you need that extra taste. My fluid “tastes” like a non-menthol cigarette.

    1. nicotinic acid? Are you sure you don’t mean nicotine? Very different substances…

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