On Tuesday night, the Santa Ana City Council unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance that will ban the sale of flavored tobacco.

The council was first tasked with deciding whether to pass an urgency ordinance or a standard ordinance; the former would have put the ban into place immediately upon passage while the latter would require a second reading in at least two weeks. While there was support for the former, Councilmember Thai Viet Phan argued for a traditional ordinance, citing the impact an urgency ordinance would have on tobacco businesses as well as the potential for the city to be sued. Her argument found support with other council members, leading them to pursue the ban via the standard ordinance process.

As such, the ordinance must still go through a second reading and vote, and then the ordinance—as currently written—would give businesses 30 days to sell off existing stock before the ban would go into effect. With the requirement for a second reading, that works out to about 45 days in total.

The council was also presented with the option to include or exclude hookah tobacco from the ordinance, and after several minutes of discussion and more than 70 public comments, the council elected to include hookah in the ban.

A second reading of the ordinance has not yet been scheduled; the council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, meaning the next meeting for the ordinance’s passage would be March 15. The vote will come as the decision on a statewide ban on flavored tobacco sales approaches; voters will decide the matter as part of the November 2022 election.

Santa Ana is home to approximately 333,000 residents. It is located just over 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.