Flavored tobacco products have come under attack in San Francisco, as City Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced a proposal on Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that would ban the sale of any tobacco product marketed as having an added and defining flavor characteristic.
— Malia Cohen (@MaliaCohen) April 18, 2017
The ban would apply not just to cigars and cigarettes, but smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes and related products. It also includes a ban on menthol products, something that has often received exemptions from similar bans implemented in other parts of the country.
“For too long the tobacco industry has gotten a pass while they selectively target vulnerable populations with flavored tobacco products,” said Supervisor Cohen in a press release. “Flavored tobacco hooks new smokers and makes them lifelong users. It can be more harmful and more difficult to quit than unflavored tobacco. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, specifically cancers. This legislation will have a tremendous impact on the disturbing disparities for tobacco-related illnesses, and will reduce the number of new tobacco users that pick up the habit annually.”
The proposal has already gotten the support of Ed Lee, the mayor of San Francisco.
A similar ban was introduced earlier this week across the bay in Oakland, Calif. New York City as well as Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. have implemented bans on the sale of flavored tobacco products, while Yolo County, Calif. has a ban set to go into effect on May 1.
San Francisco is home to nearly 871,000 residents, making it the fourth most populous city in California.