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San Diego County Sued Over Flavored Tobacco Ban

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Another municipality has found itself in the crosshairs of a lawsuit over its ban on flavored tobacco ban, as San Diego County is being sued by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., American Snuff Co. LLC, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc.

As noted in a report by CSPDailyNews.com, the suit is similar to ones filed against Los Angeles County, Philadelphia, and Edina, Minn., with the plaintiffs seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the ordinance, which was approved in late January and went into effect on July 1. It bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including flavored cigars and pipe tobacco, as well as flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes.

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The lawsuit claims that the ban is in violation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the 2009 federal law which empowers the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. The plaintiffs say that the Act contains language that prohibits state and local governments from enacting and standards or laws that either differ from or add on to federal law.

Additionally, the complaint says that the county’s ban stands as an obstacle to the purposes of federal law, which are to promulgate tobacco product standards that can be used at the national level. It notes that Congress and FDA have already established that “certain tobacco products, particularly menthol cigarettes, should remain available to adult users of tobacco products.”

The suit was filed in in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of California.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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