City leaders in San Leandro, Calif. voted on Monday to ban the sale of flavored tobacco within city limits, as well as establish a new tobacco retailer licensing program that will cap the number of stores able to sell tobacco products.
Under the changes, the sale of all flavored tobacco products will be prohibited within the city, while electronic cigarettes and vaping products will also be banned, even if they do not contain nicotine. The only exception is for menthol flavored products, which can only be sold by licensed tobacco retailers.
The city also passed a requirement on the pricing of cigars, requiring that packs of five sell for at least $7, while premium cigars must be priced at a minimum of $5 to be sold individually.
Both parts of the new law will go into effect on June 1, 2018, giving retailers the opportunity to sell of existing stock of flavored tobacco products. The city must still also decide the fee amount for the required license, which will be required to be paid annually. Revenue from the licenses will go to the enforcement of tobacco sales laws, including preventing the sale of tobacco to underage individuals.
Once the change goes into effect, stores will be given a written warning and a 30 day window in which to correct any violations for a first offense. After that, a fine of $2,500 will be imposed for any violations, with a 20-day suspension of the tobacco sales permit tacked on for a third violation. A fourth violation results in a suspension of the tobacco sales permit for three years.
San Leandro is located directly to the southwest of Oakland, Calif., and is home to just over 90,000 people.