San Francisco could very soon totally ban the sale of flavored cigarettes and e-cigarettes. This measure would be the first of its kind in the US. It would go hand in hand with the FDA’s attempts to implement strong measures to deter youth from starting to smoke. However, the usefulness of such a measure is not obvious. Especially since it would penalize both sellers and consumers of vaping products.
On June 27, San Francisco city council and Mayor Ed Lee approved a proposal aiming at banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. Local inhabitants seemed reluctant about the measure, and a postponement was planned. But the city council refused to repeal the ordinance.
From April 2018 onwards, it will be forbidden to sell flavored products, especially menthol ones, in San Francisco. The consumption of such products will however remain legal.
For Matthew Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, this measure is extremely important. According to him, it will enable many teens to never start smoking. And here’s a figure to back his statement. 54% of smokers aged 12 to 17 use menthol products in the US.
The anti-tobacco fight in California
This announcement is actually part of the fight against tobacco led by the State of California. California has always been at the forefront of the tobacco fight. And San Francisco was one of the first cities to ban the sale of tobacco products to under-aged people (under 21). The authorities wish to protect kids’ health. But, Miriam Zouzounis, a member of the San Francisco Small Business Commission, underlines the risk for small businesses. She mentions a potential loss of 50 million dollars per year for flavored tobacco sellers. And most important of all, she fears that the measure will not be successful. It could actually lead to the creation of a black market for banned products.