San Francisco, California - The American Heart Association applauds voters’ rejection of Prop. C, which threatened to undermine San Francisco’s strong, existing regulations meant to protect youth from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.
Prop. C was soundly defeated on Tuesday. A win would have not only overturned the city’s suspension of the sale of non-FDA authorized e-cigarettes but also removed San Francisco’s ability to regulate e-cigarette sales. It was backed by millions of dollars from Juul and Big Tobacco.
“I am pleased that the voters of San Francisco chose to continue protecting the health of children by voting no,” said Michelle Albert, M.D., M.P.H., board president of the American Heart Association Bay Area and Professor of Medicine and Cardiologist at UCSF School of Medicine. “Making sure e-cigarettes are properly regulated is one step toward preventing another generation from succumbing to nicotine addiction and its health risks.”
The win upholding San Francisco’s tobacco control and prevention policies comes at a time when flavored tobacco use among teens and pre-teens has reached epidemic levels. More than 1 in 4 high school students use e-cigarettes, and overall e-cigarette use among youth more than doubled over the past two years.
“In the absence of robust FDA regulation of e-cigarettes, states and communities including San Francisco are moving to protect kids from e-cigarette companies hoping to addict a new generation to nicotine,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “San Francisco sent a clear message that e-cigarettes should have no place in the market unless the FDA determines they would benefit, rather than threaten, public health.”