Do bans solve problems? Recently, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban the sale of e-cigarettes. The purpose behind the ban? To prevent kids from getting addicted to nicotine, a drug in e-cigarettes.
But why just e-cigarettes and not cigarettes as well—they both contain nicotine, don’t they? According to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is a government organization that evaluates and approves or denies products from entering the market. What’s more, the FDA forces companies to add warning labels, nutrition labels, and other product information on product packaging before it can be sold. E-cigarettes have managed to skip this process until now, but the FDA has given e-cigarette companies until 2021 to apply for their products to be evaluated.
What’s another reason for San Francisco’s ban of e-cigarette sales? To stop e-cigarette companies from selling fruit-flavored e-cigarettes and directly marketing to teens. After all, an e-cigarette, whether fruit-flavored or not, still contains nicotine.
Will other US cities follow San Francisco’s lead? Perhaps; a number of countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Lebanon, and the Philippines, have already said a big “No, thank you!” to e-cigarettes.
What do you think of San Francisco’s ban of e-cigarette sales? Do you think this ban will do what it was set out to do in the first place?