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San Francisco Mulls Banning Of E-cigarette Sales

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San Francisco is set to become the first city in the U.S. to block the sale of e-cigarettes.

City supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in city limits as well as a ban on manufacturing of e-cigarettes on city property. There will be a final vote to enact the ordinance before it becomes law, that may take six to seven months.

Supporters of the ban want the FDA to review the effects of e-cigarettes on public health before the product goes on sale. A ban of the sale of e-cigarettes will limit young people's access to them.

The vote in San Francisco has gained attention as the city is also home to e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. The company is seen as one of the most valuable U.S. startups, but it has also drawn flak because of the popularity of its products with teens.

After accepting a nearly $13 billion from tobacco giant and Marlboro-maker Altria Inc., Juul has been rebuked for abandoning its anti-smoking campaign. The company has been accused of unethical behavior for selling its products to youth.

Juul is reportedly lending its support to a signature-collection effort for a ballot measure in November to overrule the ordinance.

A survey in 2018 to find the use of tobacco among youth revealed that 78 percent of high schoolers are using e-cigarettes. Almost 48 percent of middle schoolers are addicted to battery-operated electronic devices used for 'vaping.' The number of students using e-cigarette surged to 3.6 million in 2018, compared to the previous year.

Last year, the FDA had threatened to ban e-cigarettes in the country if manufacturers do not control its sale to kids, which has reached "epidemic proportions."

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