San Francisco’s first-in-the-nation ban on e-cigarette sales, scheduled to take effect this week, is weighing heavily on Asad Sharifi, who owns Cheaper Cigarettes in the city’s Sunset District, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Sharifi worries he may have to close his business, which sells cigarettes, cigars, pipes and vapes, because it’s poised to lose 40% of its profits.
“I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do,” said Sharifi, who estimates he’ll lose $12,000 this year from vaping items he won’t be able to sell. “I doubt I’d be able to pay rent out here.”
Similar misgivings have been brewing among the 700-plus tobacco retailers in San Francisco — many of them family-owned and immigrant-owned corner stores, smoke shops and vape shops — since city officials passed an ordinance in June prohibiting the sale of many nicotine vaping products, specifically those that have not been cleared by a Food and Drug Administration review required under federal law, the article states.
The city ordinance, which does not bar the sale of cannabis vaping products, takes effect Wednesday. The law is meant to prevent minors, who are vaping in record numbers, from obtaining the products. Besides imposing restrictions on shops, it also bars e-cigarettes bought online from being shipped to San Francisco addresses.