Juul, the country’s most dominant e-cigarette maker, is ready to go to war over the surge of local bans on vaping that is quickly sweeping the country. The first battle is already starting in its headquarters city of San Francisco.
San Francisco just enacted the first blanket prohibition on e-cig sales, and Juul is not happy about it. So far, over 200 jurisdictions have placed limits on selling flavored tobacco products, including nearly two dozen cities and counties in California. San Francisco, on the other hand, has gone a step further; its ordinance actually cuts off all sales, including online purchases delivered to city addresses, until the products are reviews by the FDA.
This ban is not a random, isolated incident. In fact, the purpose of the ban is part of a much larger national fight over youth smoking and vaping. Surprisingly, this test case was pushed for by an unlikely foe, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Not someone who normally goes against anything tobacco related.
According to reports, the Senate is weighing raising the tobacco purchasing age to 21 nationwidein an attempt to discourage teen vaping and nicotine addiction. More than a dozen states have already done so.In addition, ten states now tax e-cigs, while 20 require licenses for retail sales. Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico and South Dakota imposed indoor vaping bans this year (similar to the bans in place for traditional tobacco).
Juul headquarters is currently by the Bay on city property – making the local San Francisco fight even more personal for the company. The company is planning on moving to larger quarters soon. Unfazed by the prospect of regulations, it is moving forward with its plans to expand to a 28-story downtown office building.
“It has to be an irritant for the company that plays the leading role in the youth e-cigarette epidemic in the United States to be headquartered in the city that has done more than any other to try to protect its youth,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
According to Juul spokesperson, Ted Kwong, the company is working on a “comprehensive” application to the FDA. Kwong explains that this would demonstrate the potential public health effects of its products, including the rate at which adult cigarette smokers switch to its products.
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Author Bio : Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high risk payment processing company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about his business as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.