News Release

U.S. PIRG commends San Francisco’s decision to place a moratorium on e-cigarettes

For Immediate Release

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco lawmakers are expected to pass a moratorium today on e-cigarettes that have not undergone the necessary public health review by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA, despite being required by law to determine risks of tobacco products to public health, has allowed e-cigarettes to remain on the market and delayed reviewing the products until 2022. 

Given the rapid rise in e-cigarette use among youth, public health advocates have urged the FDA to speed up its review timeline. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain, and recent studies have shown that young adults who vape are more than 3 times as likely as non-users to start smoking cigarettes.

In response to a lawsuit, the FDA is proposing that e-cigarette makers submit product applications for public health review within 10 months. The products would remain on the market for up to one year while the applications are reviewed.

Matt Wellington, U.S. PIRG’s End the Nicotine Trap Campaign Director, issued the following statement in response to San Francisco’s e-cigarette moratorium.

“San Francisco’s lawmakers have done what the FDA should have done years ago: ensure that e-cigarettes undergo the appropriate health review before hitting the shelves. With the rampant rise in e-cig use among our kids, it’s clear the agency made a bad call by letting e-cigarettes remain on the market.  

“We don’t have time to waste. Every day flavored e-cigs remain on the market means more kids getting caught in the nicotine trap. The FDA should expedite its health review of e-cigarettes, and take the products off the market until they’ve done so. 

“In the meantime, other cities and towns should pass legislation to help ensure that children don’t get hooked on e-cigarettes, including banning all flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products.”

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