San Francisco Flavored Tobacco Ban to Go Before Voters

Residents will vote on the ban, which includes menthol cigarettes, in June 2018.

September 08, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to keep the ban on flavored tobacco even though a group submitted a petition requesting the ban be overturned, CNBC reports. Now the measure to repeal the ban will be voted on by city residents on June 5, 2018.

The city’s prohibition included menthol cigarettes and flavored liquid for electronic cigarettes. A coalition of businesses and industry groups founded Let’s Be Real San Francisco to oppose the ban.

“Certain things are in place to prevent youths from purchasing and using tobacco products,” said a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds. “We think education and those measures should be pursued before government starts considering the prohibition and ban of legal products. History has shown prohibition does not work.” R.J. Reynolds also pointed out that California’s higher smoking age of 21 and cigarette tax hike of $2 is sufficient deterrents to youth smoking.

Let’s Be Real’s campaign focuses on the harm the ban will do for small businesses. “It's constantly retailers, especially small businesses, that are highly impacted,” a spokesman said. “Many rely on tobacco sales and products and follow the rules and regulations and are most harmed from them.”

Last month, Minneapolis voted to restrict the sale of menthol and flavored cigarettes to tobacco shops and off-sale liquor stores.