The trend of Maine cities passing bans on the sale of flavored tobacco products continues to gain steam, as on Tuesday night the South Portland City Council passed the first reading of its ordinance seeking to make such products illegal.
The ordinance, which the city has been working on since early 2019, passed its first reading by a 5-2 vote. It would make it illegal to sell any tobacco or electronic smoking products, including hookah products, that have a characterizing flavor other than that of tobacco.
The proposed ban is scheduled to get its second reading set for Tuesday, Dec. 20. Should it pass, it will go into effect on April 1, 2023, with retailers facing a fine of $500 for a first violation and up to $2,500 for repeat violations.
If it passed, South Portland would join Portland, Brunswick and Bangor in bans on the sale of flavored tobacco products.
South Portland is home to approximately 27,000 residents.