March 19, 2019 / 8:36 PM / in 2 months

San Francisco officials look to ban sale of e-cigarettes

(Reuters) - San Francisco officials on Tuesday proposed legislation that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes from companies such as Juul until a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as part of the city’s efforts to tackle underage vaping.

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a Juul e-cigarette while walking in New York, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

District Supervisor Shamann Walton will also introduce legislation at a meeting of the city’s board of supervisors to prohibit the manufacture and distribution of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, on city property.

A statement from the City Attorney’s office said the legislation would prevent e-cigarette company Juul from expanding on city property if engaged in the sale, manufacture and distribution of tobacco products.

Juul is the largest U.S. e-cigarette maker. Shares of Altria Group Inc, which holds a 35 percent stake in the company, closed down 2.3 percent.

“By law, before a new tobacco product goes to market, the Food and Drug Administration is supposed to conduct a review to evaluate its impact on public health. Inexplicably, the FDA has failed to do its job when it comes to e-cigarettes,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said.

Earlier in March, the FDA released formal plans to curb the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and slow a surge in teenage use of the popular nicotine devices.

The proposal also mandated makers of e-cigarette products to submit a formal application to the FDA by August 2021 in order to keep selling them, a year earlier than previously proposed.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Tuesday that the regulator should consider whether pod-based nicotine products should be sold at all given the recent increase in the use of the products by American teens.

“I’m having debates about whether or not flavored products should be sold in convenience stores and I think the real debate is whether or not any of these products should be sold in convenience stores,” Gottlieb, who is leaving the agency, said at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

A Juul spokesman said the proposed legislation would only limit adult smokers’ access to products that could help them switch away from combustible cigarettes.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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