Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigarettes)

What is an e-cigarette?

E-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems go by various names. Common names for e-cigarettes include, e-cigs, vapes, vape pens, mods and tanks. The newest products, such as JUUL, have created brand-centric terms for product use (“JUULing”). Some e-cigarettes are designed to resemble regular cigarettes, while others look more like cigars, pipes, pens and even USB flash drives. See links below to learn more about e-cigarettes.

Source: Truth Initiative 

What laws govern e-cigarettes in San Francisco?

San Francisco Health Code Article 19Q
Most recently, on June 5th 2018, Proposition E, the ban on the sale of flavored tobacco (San Francisco Health Code 19Q), was affirmed with support from over 68% of San Francisco voters.  The new law bans the local sale of flavored tobacco products including e-cigarette liquids, flavored little cigars, and menthol cigarettes. The law only affects retailers and does not criminalize the use of these products by individuals.

Education and enforcement of the new law will be a collaborative effort from programs under the Population Health Division of SFDPH including Environmental Health and the Tobacco Free Project. These efforts will include working with local retailers and community based organizations to support the transition. A planned educational campaign will focus on bringing awareness to the new law, the harms of flavored tobacco, and expanded resources for cutting back and quitting smoking.

San Francisco Health Code Article 19N
California Health and Safety Code 119405 prohibits the sales of e-cigarettes to minors. Effective April 2014, San Francisco Health Code Article 19N prohibits the use of e-cigarettes wherever traditional cigarettes are prohibited.  This generally means smoking or using e-cigarettes (vaping) is only permitted at the curb.  Sales of e-cigarettes in San Francisco require a tobacco permit, just like cigarettes.

Please see below for additional laws and regulation that govern e-cigarette usage in San Francisco

 

Learn more about e-cigarettes:

Locations where e-cigarette use is prohibited:

 

Locations where e-cigarette use is prohibited  Legal Authority
The use of tobacco products at athletic venues is prohibited SF Health Code Article 19O.3
Workplaces, Restaurants, and Bars CA Labor Code 6404.5, SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Near entryways including exits and operable windows of commercial, multi-unit residential and mixed use buildings  (Smoking only at the curb or 15 feet if no curb) SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Inside Tobacco Shops SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Enclosed areas of Common areas of Multi-Unit Housing SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Rental units with leases designating units as smoke free SF Health Code Article 19M, Section 19M.3
Public Transit Vehicles and Stations (Muni and BART) CA Health and Safety Code Sections 118925-118945/ SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Indoor facility utilized for kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services for children US Code Section 6083
Motor vehicles with a minor under 18 years of age CA Health and Safety Code Sections 118947-118949
Taxis (whether or not passengers are present) SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Service Waiting Lines (ATMs, ticket lines, bus stops) SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
City and County of San Francisco owned or operated parks, playing fields, or other unenclosed areas SF Health Code Article 19I, Section 1009.81
Outdoor Events held on City and County property SF Health Code Article 19L, Section 19L.3
Sports Arenas SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Farmer’s Markets SF Health Code Article 19F, Section 1009.22
Playgrounds and Tot Lots CA Health and Safety Code Section 104495
Wharf, Pier, Dock, Bulkhead, or Marine Facility SF Police Code Article 1, Section 55
Any other location with a smoke free policy such as a college campus or a faith-based facility or campus

If you have a concern about use of a tobacco product in a place where you don’t believe use is allowed, please call 311 and report the details.

E-cigarette sales policies:
E-cigarette sales policies  Legal Authority
Sale of flavored tobacco products is prohibited, including menthol cigarettes, flavored e-cigarette liquids and flavored little cigars SF Health Code Article 19Q
Sale or distribution of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 21 is prohibited SF Heath Code Article 19P.3
Sales of Electronic Cigarettes require a tobacco sales permit.   All related requirements and penalties apply. SF Health Code Article 19H, Section 1009.52
Sales of Electronic Cigarettes are prohibited at pharmacies SF Health Code Article 19J, Section 1009.92
Sales of Electronic Cigarettes are prohibited on City and County Property SF Health Code Article 19K, Section 1010.1
Sales of Electronic Cigarettes through self-service merchandizing such as vending machines are illegal.  This includes counter top displays. SF Health Code Article 19D, Section 1009.1 / SF Police Code Article 46, Section 4600.3
Illegal to have giveaways or free samples or coupons SF Police Code Article 1, Section 95
Illegal to advertise on City & County Property SF Administrative Code, Chapter 4, Section 4.2

If you have a concern about the sale of a tobacco product that you believe does not follow the above guidelines, please call 311 and report the details.