San Francisco is to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes, including menthol products, from April next year, according to a story by Joshua Sabatini on sfexaminter.com.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved unanimously legislation introduced by supervisor Malia Cohen that prohibits retailers from selling flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, flavored chewing tobacco and flavored liquids containing nicotine used in electronic cigarettes.
Such products were said to impact disproportionately the LGBT and black communities.
“We want to enhance our prevention strategies,” Cohen was reported to have said. “The goal of this ordinance is to keep people from smoking in the first place.”
The ban drew opposition from small businesses, and from the Small Business Commission which represents them, for the impact it would have on their bottom-lines and the concern that patrons would only shop online or in other counties for the same products.
To address the business concerns, Cohen amended the legislation to have it go into effect in April 2018, rather than January, when it was originally aimed to come into force. She said also she would support increased city funding to help small stores transition their business models under the Healthy Food Retail program.
The legislation was said to build on a September 2009 US Food and Drug Administration ban on ‘characterizing flavors’ in cigarettes.