A initiative campaign backed by e-cigarette giant Juul to reverse an ordinance approved last month by the Livermore City Council to ban the sale of vaping products is heading to the ballot next year.
Livermore followed San Francisco last July in banning the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes, in an effort to curb youngsters from using the nicotine-delivery devices. Livermore’s ordinance also prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products.
Juul’s signature-gathering campaign in Livermore quickly amassed the more than 5,200 valid signatures required to qualify for the ballot by the end of July. The Alameda County Registrar of Voters certified the number of signatures on Tuesday.
Juul, which holds a large share of the e-cigarette market, has pledged to be spendthrift in beating back bids by municipalities to restrict access to its products. It spent $4.3 million since May on San Francisco’s ballot measure.
A similar initiative to overturn San Francisco’s ban was certified for the city’s November 2019 ballot. The ballot measure in Livermore would not come before voters until November 2020, the city’s next scheduled municipal election.
Although unlikely, Livermore councilmember could schedule a special election, or even rescind the e-cigarette ordinance on their own in order to avoid a campaign against the a heavily-funded ballot measure backed by Juul.