July 2, 2019

Coalition Launches Campaign to Require Strongest Vaping Regulations in the United States

Ballot initiative outlines a series of strict regulations that will address under twenty-one access and challenge the Board of Supervisor’s all-out vaping ban

San Francisco, CA — A citywide ballot initiative that will create the strictest vaping regulations in the country will be before San Francisco voters this November.

A group of San Francisco residents, businesses, and community leaders called the Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation, introduced the ballot initiative as an alternative to the all-out ban recently enacted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The initiative addresses the reported increase in underage use of vapor products by placing strict regulations on the sale of vapor products at both physical retailers and online, in addition to other regulations regarding the sale, availability, and marketing of vapor products. The organization believes that by enacting these strong regulations the city can prevent underage access and use, while still giving adults the choice to use vaping products to stop smoking.

“The increase in underage vaping is a serious problem that needs to be addressed head on,” said campaign Communications Director Nate Allbee. “As San Franciscans we know that bans and prohibitions don’t work—but smart regulations do. This initiative will make vaping products more regulated than other age-restricted products, including cigarettes and alcohol, but still allows adults to use vapor products to stop smoking.”

“I smoked for over 50 years and tried everything I could to get off cigarettes; nothing worked until vaping products,” said Stephen Tillisch, member of the Coalition. “I don’t want anybody else to have to go through the years of addiction like I have. That’s why I’m supporting this initiative that goes after youth vaping but doesn’t force me to go back to smoking cigarettes.”

Earlier today at the Department of Elections members of the Coalition submitted more than double the 9,485 voter’s signatures needed to place the initiative on the ballot.

“These signatures were collected in a record setting 9 days making it clear that San Franciscans want to address underage vaping but they don’t want an all-out ban,” Allbee added. “Maybe it was well intentioned, but it was still a gross overreach by City Hall when they banned a product that’s helped millions and millions of people across the country stop smoking.”

The initiative, called An Act to Prevent Youth Use of Vapor Products, outlines a series of regulatory actions that permits the sale of vaping products in the City but stops under twenty-one access:

·       Requires brick-and-mortar retail establishments to scan the purchaser’s government-issued ID to verify age and ID validity before completing the transaction

·       Requires brick-and-mortar retail establishments to limit the amount of vapor products that can be purchased to 2 devices and/or 5 packages of nicotine-containing liquid to prevent resale and social sourcing

·       Requires online retailers, which sell to San Francisco residents, to obtain a permit from the City

·       Requires online retailers to use prescribed third-party age verification to verify the purchaser’s age and

·       Requires online retailers to limit the amount of product that can be purchased within a calendar month to 2 devices and/or 60 milligrams of nicotine-containing liquid to prevent resale and social sourcing

·       Imposes a criminal and/or civil penalty on anyone that sells or provides a vapor product to an individual under the age of 21 years

·       Prohibits the advertising or marketing of vapor products designed to appeal to minors or using an advertising medium known to be seen primarily by people under 21 years old. 

·       Directs the City’s Director of Public Health to create educational materials to inform parents, young adults, and youth about the effects of nicotine consumption and use of vapor products

“Polling shows that 70% of San Franciscan voters are in favor of these type of strong regulations while only 40% support an all-out ban,” Allbee said. “This campaign doesn’t simply eliminate the ban or roll back any other prior legislation like the ban on flavored vapor products. It’s a series of much needed regulations that stop underage access to and use of vapor products, while still allowing adults to choose.”

“This initiative lays out the most comprehensive legislation on the issue, covering all bases for all stakeholders,” said Ryan Hanretty, Executive Director of the California Fuels and Convenience Alliance, and a board member of the Coalition. “Strong, effective regulation is the best way for San Francisco to combat this problem. And, we are confident this effort will resonate with people as a better option and a real solution.”

The campaign will begin its work in earnest over the coming weeks, engaging the residents of San Francisco and educating them about this initiative ahead of the November ballot.


For more information on the Coalition and the campaign, please visit our website:

The Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation is an alliance of San Francisco residents, businesses, and community leaders who believe in common sense regulation preventing youth access and preserving adult choice. The coalition was created in response to a proposed ban by the City of San Francisco on the sale of vapor products. This ban would be harmful not only to adult choice, but also to the city’s economy. The coalition provides a platform for concerned residents, business owners and community organizations so that we can take strong actions to further fight underage use while still preserving access to products that can help adult smokers switch from cigarettes.

Ad paid for by Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation, including neighborhood grocers and small businesses.  Committee major funding from Juul Labs.  Financial disclosures are available at