News & Politics

San Fran Government Concerned with E-Cigs, Not Poop, Drug Needles

The city of San Francisco is covered in human feces and used drug needles, but the city’s elected officials have a curious priority.

Nearly every city block has had a poop sighting in recent years as the city grapples with homelessness, according to data compiled by Open The Books.

Not even the basking sea lions and aquatic life calling the Bay Area home have been spared. One report was pinpointed to Seal Rocks – a jagged formation surrounded by the ocean – and more waste was sighted in the waters off the popular Fisherman’s Wharf tourist area.

NBC News investigated the toxic situation in San Francisco and reported:

As the Investigative Unit photographed nearly a dozen hypodermic needles scattered across one block, a group of preschool students happened to walk by on their way to an afternoon field trip to city hall.

“We see poop, we see pee, we see needles, and we see trash,” said teacher Adelita Orellana. “Sometimes they ask what is it, and that’s a conversation that’s a little difficult to have with a 2-year old, but we just let them know that those things are full of germs, that they are dangerous, and they should never be touched.”

It sounds like San Francisco has a real mess on their hands. What are the city’s elected officials doing about the problem?

Trying to ban e-cigarettes. 

San Francisco has already banned flavored e-cigarettes, a proven feature for smokers who want to quit their deadly habit. Now, the government is looking to ban e-cigarettes entirely — although they are not looking to ban actual cigarettes.

“San Francisco has never been afraid to lead, and we’re certainly not afraid to do so when the health and lives of our children are at stake,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “E-cigarettes have wiped out the hard-fought gains we have made in curbing youth tobacco use. Today we are taking action to protect our kids.” Why not ban cigarettes? Because the city and state want the tax revenue.

Are e-cigarettes more dangerous than cholera, e coli, dysentery, rotavirus, norovirus, various strains of hepatitis or parasites? These are just a handful of the dangers associated with coming into contact with human feces and used needles. Instead of focusing on the possibility of a contagious epidemic in their city, the government wants to go after e-cigs.

The law being proposed in the Board of Supervisors would keep all vapes off the market in San Francisco until they receive marketing approval from the FDA. No vapor manufacturer has yet submitted a premarket tobacco application (PMTA) to the FDA, because of the prohibitive cost and the uncertainty that any product could ever be approved. FDA marketing approval requires applicants to prove that their products are “appropriate for the protection of public health.”

San Francisco’s potential e-cig ban, follows on the heels of anti-vaping, outgoing FDA commissioner Scott Gottleibs’s move to ban flavored e-cig products like JUUL from being sold anywhere convenient. Gottleib set the tone for city and state governments to take a hostile orientation against a device that has proven to help users quit smoking. Gottleib decided to obstruct e-cig access to everyone rather than punish retailers who sell the devices to kids.

So as you navigate your way through the poop-laden sidewalks and dodge the used needles littered about San Fran, take solace in the fact that the San Francisco government cares enough about your health to keep e-cigarettes far from your reach.