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In case you missed it, back in July it was announced that San Francisco would become the first city to ban flavored vape juices. The ban would take effect in April 2018, and would cover all products with a “distinguishable taste or aroma”. The ordinance’s proponents claim that it would help protect minors and minorities. They’re beating on the same old “gateway effect” theory that is completely out of touch with reality.
For those unfamiliar with the “gateway effect”, a lot of anti-vaping groups and politicians claim that minors who experiment with vaping will get hooked and then transition to smoking traditional cigarettes. This theory is completely unproven, and runs counter to all common sense. Why would anybody transition from an enjoyable product to a terrible one? After driving your first car, did you say “oh man, I love this, now what I really need is a horse and buggy!”? The gateway effect is nothing more than a myth at best.
There is still hope..
While many within our community are viciously against big tobacco companies, the wise among us realize that sometimes you need to work with your enemies when you have a shared goal. Since the flavor ban also effects menthol cigarettes, big tobacco has a big stake in striking it down as well.
Attorney Joel Aurora, representing R.J. Reynolds, Altria, several Vaping Advocacy groups, and the Arab American Grocers Association, had submitted a referendum to strike down the flavor ban. Upon submission he then had 30 days to gather 19,040 signatures from San Francisco voters in order to bring the ban to a vote by the public. Stefan Didak, the man behind the Not Blowing Smoke and Adults Like Flavors campaigns, announced three days ago that the referendum now has more than enough signatures and collected in record time.
While its not a victory quite yet, at least the people of San Francisco may be allowed to make their own decisions.