Lawmakers in the US cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suggesting that these cities ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, blunt wraps, cigars, and cigarillos, according to a story by Malia Cohen for SFist.
‘For too long the tobacco industry has gotten a pass while they selectively target vulnerable populations with flavored tobacco products,’ Supervisor Cohen, who is proposing the legislation in San Francisco, was quoted as saying in a press note.
‘Flavored tobacco hooks new smokers and makes them lifelong users.
‘It can be more harmful and more difficult to quit than unflavored tobacco.’
Cohen went on to say that tobacco use in general remained the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US.
And she said that the proposed legislation would have a ‘tremendous impact on the disturbing disparities for tobacco-related illnesses’, and would reduce the number of new tobacco users that picked up the habit.
The Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, is said to be putting his weight behind Cohen’s proposal.
He has said that if the bill makes its way through the Board of Supervisors, he will sign it into law.
A similar push to legislate against flavored tobacco products has come from Oakland city’s council member Annie Campbell Washington.
“We first took on big soda and succeeded and now we are taking on big tobacco together,” Campbell Washington said, referring to a soda tax that was imposed in Oakland and San Francisco in November.