Keep Smoking San Francisco, The Golden Gate City Needs MSA Funds

 

Source: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File

 

By Lindsey Stroud

After banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavoring in e-cigarettes, San Francisco is snuffing out tobacco harm reduction again. Frisco is now the first city to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes. Mayor London Breed is expected to sign the ban, which will essentially save tobacco companies by wiping out a major competitor: electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.

This is especially ironic because 23 years ago San Francisco became the first locality to sue major tobacco manufactures, after nine states filed lawsuits to recoup state health care funds for smoking-related illnesses. The class-action suit resulted in the largest settlement in U.S. history: the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).

Under the MSA, participating tobacco companies are bound to pay the suing states, in perpetuity, a portion of the revenue collected from tobacco sales. And though many public health advocates believed this to be a major win, the real losers of the MSA were smokers, who are essentially paying the annual payments to the states through “user fees.”

San Francisco is raking in MSA funding. From 2017 to 2018, MSA payments to The Bay City increased by 19 percent from $9.173 million to $10.952 million. In 2002, San Francisco was one of three California cities (including Los Angeles and San Diego) slated to receive “approximately half” of the estimated $21 billion in MSA funds earmarked for the Golden State over a 25-year period, according to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Unfortunately for big tobacco and localities across the land, e-cigarettes have totally disrupted the status quo. Since their introduction to the U.S. market in 2007, an estimated three million American adults have used these products to quit smoking. Indeed, e-cigarettes have been “twice as effective” as nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit.

Moreover, despite fearmongering campaigns against e-cigarettes, these products are significantly less harmful than combustible cigarettes. Numerous public health groups including Public Health England, the Royal College of Physicians, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine note e-cigarettes are less dangerous than combustible cigarettes. In June 2019, the American Cancer Society stated existing research “has found that e-cigarette use is likely to be significantly less harmful for adults than smoking regular cigarettes.”

It is alarming that San Fran, which prided itself in 1996 on being the first locality to fight big tobacco, would shutter an industry that is helping remedy the effects of combustible cigarettes. In 1996, then-San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne told the Los Angeles Times that “[c]ounties in particular cannot afford their scarce public funds drained by having to pay for the treatment of tobacco-related illnesses.”

Even more alarming, San Francisco officials are restricting adult access to tobacco harm reduction products in an effort to save the precious MSA dollars that are borne by the lungs of smokers who would most benefit from e-cigarettes being widely available.

Unfortunately, 2019 has been riddled with an onslaught of misguided legislation and fake news fearmongering campaigns targeting e-cigarettes. For the record, levels of formaldehyde cited in one widely acclaimed 2016 bogus study have been totally debunked. Even the lower levels of formaldehyde found in more recent and less biased studies were still significantly lower than the levels of formaldehyde found in combustible cigarettes. In essence, San Francisco would rather smokers be subject to more dangerous chemicals so MSA funds keep on flowing.

In May, Mayor London unveiled a budget that includes “more than $1 billion in additional spending,” for the next fiscal year. It is overwhelmingly apparent public officials in San Francisco do not care about public health, they care about tobacco dollars.

Lindsey Stroud ([email protected]is a state government relations manager at The Heartland Institute.

This article first appeared here.

 

Share:FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate

Follow WordPress.com on WordPress.com

Follow Us

FacebooktwitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagramFacebooktwitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagram

Recent Comments

Donate via PayPal

Donate Via Patreon

Twitter Feed

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 at 8:19am
To all of you who may have commented on the site, sorry if your message was mistakenly flagged as 'spam'... I have way too much #spam to deal with ! This is with Captcha enabled, too. https://t.co/uACsMSlKJK TheVaporNinja photo
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 at 5:13pm
PROTECT #vape MAIL!
ALL VAPING ACCESS THREATENED IN PROPOSED BILL.
TAKE ACTION AT @CASAAmedia !
https://t.co/PXcZt5Druf
Thursday, December 17th, 2020 at 11:59am
@Vapingit @DrTomFrieden YES indeed #vaping has helped literally millions of humans quit the dreaded #tobacco . It should be lauded as one the most beneficial technologies of this century. Encouraged, government subsidized, and normalized. The CDC has been mired in problems for years. Time for reform.
Saturday, December 12th, 2020 at 10:33pm
Hey, participate, make your voice HEARD. Include your story about why flavors help you stay off of #tobacco ! I know they help ME stay off of the stinkies ! #vape on ! https://t.co/EQPR0so9Rm
TheVaporNinja photo
CASAA @CASAAmedia
2020 VAPE CONSUMER SURVEY: The annual eCigIntelligence survey, done in conjunction with CASAA, gathers and shares factual information to ensure U.S. stakeholders and policymakers better understand the TRUTH about how and why adults vape (like flavors)!

https://t.co/2cogzH4Upc https://t.co/abOyHbQxwg
Monday, November 30th, 2020 at 5:36am
Scientific trial results in showing that 'dual-use' of #ecig and #tobacco significantly reduces toxins.
https://t.co/Ncrxtjp2Ve
Saturday, October 10th, 2020 at 5:02am
@ChaunceyGardner @Dstat_THR @asthma I have COPD from my many years of tobacco abuse. I was wheezing and using inhalers. After quitting tobacco via vape technology, a few months later I was inhaler-free, symptom-free, and my doctor says my lungs sounds perfect. I was also using oxygen occasionally. Saved by the vape
Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at 4:24pm
@GrimmGreen @KatTimpf The last beef I ate was in about 1988.
You can do it too.
It's unnecessary and harmful. :)
Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at 4:16pm
Goodbye and farewell to @MendocinoVapors , they had to close shop due to being deemed 'non-essential'.
https://t.co/Koa3mL7D7z
Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 9:44am
@ChaunceyGardner I think the period after 'cost' was a typo, they meant to say 'more cost effective'.
Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 9:39am
@ElianaGolber Glantz.
Just seeing that name on a study should invalidate it immediately.
Saturday, September 19th, 2020 at 5:07pm
I can't believe it's been a YEAR since #India has banned vaping. #vapingsaveslives and India has a high prevalance of #tobacco use.
I hope the protests go well and make a difference. https://t.co/6jIxGIdgKk