Flavored cigars will be banned in Los Angeles effective Jan. 1, 2023, though it could happen sooner.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 in favor of the ban, which bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products except flavored shisha tobacco. The exemption is quit specific and will allow flavored shisha tobacco to be sold in hookah lounges that have their own ventilation system. There is no exemption for flavored cigars of any kind. While the law bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, there’s no ban on the possession of these products by consumers.

Los Angeles’ ban will go into effect Jan. 1 barring any legal setbacks, though there’s a chance that state law could change as early as Dec. 8.

In 2020, a bill was signed into law that banned flavored tobacco products in the entire state of California, though due to California’s unique direct government process, that law must survive a ballot referendum this November. If a majority of voters support the flavor tobacco ban—technically, the ballot referendum will ask if they want to rollback the law—then flavored tobacco sales could be outlawed as early as Dec. 8, 2022.

California’s state law includes an exemption for both shisha tobacco as well as large flavored cigars, though in order to be exempt these cigars would need to have a wholesale price of at least $12, meaning they would retail for around $37 given California’s high tax rate on cigars.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors—a separate government that can govern the non-chartered areas of Los Angeles County—passed a ban on flavored tobacco products in 2019. That law has been subject to legal challenges, some of which have been dependent on the outcome of the state law.

In April, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced it was moving forward with plans to ban flavored cigars throughout the U.S.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.