Localities Ban Flavored Tobacco, Raise Tobacco Buying Age

Marin County, Calif.; Hermantown and Lauderdale, Minn.; and Ashburnham, Mass.; have new passed new tobacco regulations.

November 09, 2018

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – The Marin County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors approved a ban on vaping, menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products this week—just one of a slew of local governments restricting tobacco products, CBS San Francisco reports. The ordinance will take effect in July 2019, with tobacco stores having until 2020 to sell through their current inventory.

Over in Minnesota, the Hermantown City Council approved a ban on the sale of tobacco and vaping products to those under 21, the Duluth News Tribune reports. The move makes Hermantown the 15th Minnesota city to pass a 21 and older tobacco buying law. The measure will take effect come January.

During Monday’s hearing, Jill Kari, manager at Lake Effect Vapor, said that the move will merely move under age customers to less reputable businesses and possibly fuel a black market for vaping and tobacco. “We don’t carry products that are marketed to children. We ID everyone,” Kari said.

In late October, the Lauderdale (Minn.) City Council voted to increase the tobacco buying age to 21 and limit the sale of flavored tobacco products, LillieNews.com reports. Meanwhile, Arden Hills, Minn., is holding a public hearing on the having a higher tobacco buying age during next week’s city council meeting.

In Massachusetts, the Ashburnham Board of Health approved both raising the tobacco purchase age to 21 and restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products, the Sentinel & Enterprise reports. The board will officially approve the new regulations at its December meeting, and the restrictions will go into effect by the end of 2018. Currently, around 130 municipalities in Massachusetts have placed limits on the sale of flavored tobacco.

“It doesn't actually serve the interests of youth and children in Ashburnham,” said lawyer Adam Ponte, who addressed the board against the measure. “These regulations serve to damage the small business owners.”