Flavor ban gets the nod
Voters in San Francisco, California, have approved a city-wide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and certain chewing tobaccos, and vaping liquids, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Proposition E was supported by 68 percent of voters and opposed by 31 percent.
San Francisco supervisors last year unanimously approved the ban, but it was put on hold after R.J. Reynolds collected enough signatures to put it on the ballot. The company was said to have spent at least $12 million on the campaign opposing the measure.
Before the ban, the Consumer Choice Center’s senior fellow, Jeff Stier, said that California law already prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 21. As such, the ordinance would change the legal status of the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to adults exclusively.
Stier called on the FDA to “speak out about how a local ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to adults could undermine the FDA’s comprehensive regulatory plan to fight smoking, given the role flavors in e-cigarettes play in helping adult smokers quit.”
Following the vote, Bonnie Herzog, MD Equity Research for Tobacco and C-Stores at Wells Fargo Securities, said that while she expected tobacco stocks would come under pressure because of the vote, the ban was not a “deal-breaker” for the menthol category.
“As we have written in the past, we believe the net negative impact for major tobacco manufacturers will be limited since we expect many consumers will likely move their purchases online or cross border ultimately having the greatest negative impact on retailers,” she said.