Supervisor Eric Mar demonstrated to colleagues how e-cigarettes work by taking a puff of the battery-powered device. He noted that under current law the practice is allowed inside City Hall and all over The City.
“Right now it’s totally legal what I just did in this room,” Mar said.
The ordinance will prohibit the use of the electronic cigarettes where cigarettes are already not allowed, such as in city buildings, restaurants and bars.
Other restrictions will be implemented to treat electronic cigarettes like other tobacco products, including prohibiting their sale at the same places where traditional cigarettes cannot be sold in San Francisco, such as pharmacies.
Mar called the use, sale and marketing of the electronic smoking devices “the Wild West” with no regulations in place.
The e-cigarettes are also sold alongside “Mentos and candy bars” in stores, according to Mar.
The smoking devices act as a vaporizer with a nicotine mixture inside.
Head Officer Tomas Aragon of the Department of Public Health reiterated the potential dangers and addictions stemming from the smoking devices.