The Board of Supervisors in the U.S. city of San Francisco, Calif., is poised to ban smoking and vaping in private apartment homes within city limits.
The supervisors voted 10-to-one in favor of an ordinance that was proposed by Board President Norman Yee prohibiting the vaping and smoking of tobacco and nicotine products in private dwellings, even if the home is rented or actually occupied by the owners. Initial action was taken on December 1, with a final reading of the proposal and a vote set for the following week.
San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes entirely. If the ban on in-apartment vaping and smoking passes, the Bay Area is one of the most restrictive environments for vaping in North America.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, the politician who signed the electronic cigarette sales ban into law, is poised to sign the latest ordinance into law after the Board of Supervisors passes it.
“The problem is smoke easily moves between units, and there is no way to contain it,” Yee told the San Francisco Examiner. Yee justified the proposal to protect tenants and further restrict risky lifestyles in a bid to protect public health.
However, there is much backlash against the proposal. For instance, the original form of the ordinance banned smoking and vaping for marijuana and tobacco derivatives. The marijuana lobby, though, unleashed a significant backlash campaign against the Board of Supervisors. Their bid was successful, given the fact that lawmakers amended the ordinance to exempt cannabis, leaving nicotine and tobacco products under the ban.
Other public health experts are concerned that the ban on vaping and smoking could upend harm reduction efforts for people who choose to vape to quit smoking. David Sweanor, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa in Canada, told Inside Sources that the ordinance “is distressingly illiberal, particularly for a city that has been known for taking relatively enlightened approaches to public health issues.”
This is a developing story.