On Tuesday, voters in San Francisco, Calif. overwhelmingly supported a proposition that will ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in the city, with 68.4% of voters in favor as the day came to a close.

The ban has been in the works since last summer, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors first approved it. Then, a group called Let’s Be Real San Francisco organized a petition seeking its repeal, gathering more than the nearly 20,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot and triggering the repeal process. That began with the Board of Supervisors first getting the option to repeal it on their own, which did not happen. That sent the matter to voters in Tuesday’s election.

The ban defines a flavored tobacco product as one where the manufacturer or any of the manufacturer’s agents or employees make a statement or claim to consumers or the public that the product has a characterizing flavor via the product’s packaging. The ban would apply to both cigarettes and other tobacco products. Violators of the sales ban could face the suspension of their tobacco retailers’ license starting at 90 days for a first violation and a year for a third violation.

The ban was designed to go into effect on April 1, 2018, a modified date agreed to as part of the Board of Supervisor’s discussions that was agreed to  in order to give retailers time to sell off existing stock and prepare for the change. An updated effective date has not announced.

Feature image by Rich Niewiroski Jr. (http://www.projectrich.com/gallery) [CC BY 2.5 or Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons.

Patrick Lagreid

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.