Los Angeles County could become the largest jurisdiction in the U.S. to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products if a newly proposed ordinance gets approved.
Under this new ordinance that is up for consideration in September 2019, stores in unincorporated areas of Los Angels County would be prohibited from carrying or selling any tobacco products that contain flavors. This ban would include many of the covered tobacco products under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s deeming rule, including e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, mint chewing tobacco, and flavored cigars, among other products. Existing tobacco shops would also be required to obtain business licenses, according to the Los Angeles Times. Those businesses that fail to get the proper licenses would face suspension. If passed, the new rule would go into effect in February 2020.
As with many of the tobacco flavor bans coming up around the country, this legislation is being fueled by the increasing popularity of e-cigarette use and vaping among minors in the U.S. The legislation, however, impacts many other tobacco products and limits the choices of adult consumers. Los Angeles would not be the first jurisdiction to adopt a strict flavor ban. San Francisco has taken a hard stance against e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products, including introducing new legislation that moves to limit its availability within the city [read more here].
The county of Los Angeles began drafting this new proposed ordinance last year after Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas asked for increased scrutiny of vape shops in his district. This request led to the county ordering officials to study the impact of requiring shops to be licensed and imposing regulations on flavored tobacco products. The officials are concerned that years spent pushing back against the tobacco industry and products like cigarettes.
You can read the story from the LA Times on the proposed flavored tobacco ordinance here.