STATES CHRONICLE – On Wednesday, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban flavored tobacco. The officials passed a measure which forbids the sale of e-cigarette tobacco liquid containing flavors. This measure should prevent young people from taking up smoking.
Flavored tobacco liquid tricks youngsters into starting smoking
Such a ban received unanimous votes for the first time in our nation. Malia Cohen was the main sponsor of the bill, and the Supervisor who proposed it. When asked about the motivations of the ban, she said that flavored tobacco products were usually the first teenagers use if they started smoking. Flavors like banana, cotton candy, or menthol entice children and allow them to become addicted.
Cohen says that tobacco companies have always targeted young people, since they are easier to convince and to take up smoking. Also, the industry deceives them with tempting flavors which, in fact, cool the throat and prevent it from feeling irritation.
Business owners oppose the measure
San Francisco is the first city to require a complete ban on flavored tobacco liquid. Other cities and states imposed some limitations on the access and commercialization of such liquid, but it can still be purchased from stores.
Small business owners oppose this measure, and call it non-effective. If people can no longer buy flavored tobacco liquid from their city, nothing stops them to order it online or to purchase it from a different city or state. Also, removing the product from their shelves can seriously affect their business.
Miriam Zouzounis, one of the members of the Arab American Grocers Associations, said they couldn’t compete with big stores which sell mostly food products.
“Those tobacco products aren’t 100 percent of our revenue, but they are an anchor product.”
The bill needs a second vote to pass, which will be given next week. However, most officials expect the result to be positive. If this happens, all the regulations will be enforced next April.
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