The City of Long Beach will soon enforce the ban on flavored tobacco products. The FDA announced plans back in April to ban menthol cigarettes, and cigars in other flavors, but as e-cigarettes have risen in popularity, public health officials feared that the different flavors is what's appealing to young people. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement,
“The city is committed to protecting young people and promoting public health. These tobacco products have been directly linked to serious health concerns by doctors and health experts.”
Long Beach’s ordinance prohibiting the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products went into effect on May 16th, but it will be enforced starting on August 16th to give retailers enough time to be in compliance. Los Angeles County is looking to follow in the steps of Long Beach with this decision as the Los Angeles City Council directed the City Attorney to draft an ordinance this week that will ban flavored tobacco and menthol cigarette sales in the city. The exemption to this ordinance is hookah tobacco products at existing smokers lounges. While existing smokers lounges will be able to sell hookah products for on-site or off-site consumption, retail stores will be banned from selling flavored tobacco including hookah tobacco.
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