The sale of flavored tobacco products will no longer be permitted in West Hollywood following a unanimous city council vote that also banned the use of all tobacco coupons.
The ordinance prohibits the sale of any flavored tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco and electronic smoking devices. Menthol, the main ingredient in many cigarette products, is one of the prohibited flavors. Coupons or discounts on regular tobacco products are also prohibited. Only shisha tobacco, a product smoked in hookahs, is still authorized.
The earlier [tobacco companies] get you hooked, the more a client they get, the more profit they’ll make with you, Mayor Lindsey Horvath said in an interview Thursday.
It also means many other chronic health impacts, and maybe not being aware of or being exposed to education or information about the effects of early tobacco use. We were doing what we could to both organize an education campaign, but also to restrict access to these products, which made addiction all the easier.
The ordinance was passed despite the refusal of some local traders who told council members that their businesses would suffer without the sale of these products.
A similar initiative was passed statewide last year and was due to go into effect on January 1. Instead, it was suspended after tobacco industry advocates submitted enough signatures to trigger a referendum on the item in the 2022 election.
Tobacco companies ran an advertising campaign alleging that banning menthol cigarettes while allowing more expensive tobacco products like shisha unfairly targeted communities of color.
This is Big Tobaccos’ latest attempt to profit at the expense of the health of our children, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during the referendum launch last year. California will continue to fight and protect the children of Big Tobacco.
If California succeeds in passing a statewide ban on flavored tobacco products, it would follow Massachusetts as the only state to do so. At least 99 districts in California, including Los Angeles County, have already banned the sale of flavored tobacco products, according to Breathe Southern California, a nonprofit that praised West Hollywood on its new ordinance.
Strict law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in the city of West Hollywood can protect youth and other populations with high smoking rates by cutting off access to key products that lead many to smoking, and potentially a life. of tobacco addiction, Marc Carrel, chairman and CEO of Breathes, said in a letter to the board.
Rima Khoury, founding member of the National Hookah Community Assn., Said hookah is a cultural tradition for many communities in the Middle East.
The hookah is not the problem, Khoury said in a written public comment. Kids don’t run around with hookahs which are traditionally 3 feet tall and take 15-20 minutes to set up. Hookahs are not confiscated in schools. However, since hookah is only available in flavors, it has become collateral damage in the broad flavor bans primarily focused on vape.
Councilor John Erickson agreed that hookah does not pose the same threat to young people as more popular tobacco products.
At the end of the day, the hookah itself is a whole different topic than Marlboro selling a chewing gum cigarette to a 16 year old who wants the taste and the feel and then they live a life of horrible results. for the health of something they thought was fun and cool at the time, Erickson said.
The council postponed until March discussion of another ordinance banning vaping, tobacco and cannabis in common areas of multi-family homes, and all smoking in new homes. Erickson said he hopes to have a broader conversation about how to make West Hollywood smoke-free.
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