San Francisco voters upheld a law banning the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including flavoured vaping products, menthol cigarettes, flavoured hookah tobacco and infused cigars.
American publication Politico.com reported that about 68% of voters backed the ban which was passed unanimously by the board of supervisors last June.
The ban was stalled after the tobacco industry gathered enough support to get Proposition E on the ballot, with companies like R.J Reynolds (Newport menthol cigarettes) spend almost $12 million into the No on Prop E campaign.
Investment from the pro-ban side amounted to $2.3 million, the majority of which came from Michael Bloomberg. Supporters argued that using fruit and candy flavours were luring in a younger generation into a nicotine addiction.
“There’s a reason Big Tobacco panicked, pouring millions into fighting to keep flavoured tobacco on store shelves in San Francisco,” said Jim Knox, managing director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in California. “As a national public health leader, what happens in San Francisco often doesn’t stay in San Francisco. This could start a trend that will make a big dent in the tobacco industry’s profits.”
“It’s disappointing that a majority of voters in San Francisco came to the conclusion that the best way to address an issue of concern, such as underage tobacco use, is a return to the policy of prohibition,” said Carlos Solórzano, CEO of the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco.
Menthol cigarettes will be banned in Ireland by 2020, as decided by the European Court of Justice, however, there has yet to be a plan to extend the ban to flavoured vaping products announced.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.