City Council to discuss potential ban October 15
By Sam Catanzaro
Culver City lawmakers will discuss banning or further regulating flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes at the City Council this evening October 15, include flavored e-liquids and menthol cigarettes.
“The proposed ordinance, if adopted, would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products (as defined in the Ordinance), which would include flavored e-liquids that are used in electronic smoking devices, such as an e-cigarette. If an electronic smoking device is prefilled with a flavored tobacco product, or the device is packaged together with an e-liquid pod/cartridge containing a flavored tobacco product, then those devices would be prohibited from being sold. An empty electronic smoking device, sold separately from any flavored tobacco product, would not be prohibited from sale,” wrote Heather S. Baker, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Culver City in an email to Westside Today.
Baker noted the proposed ordinance does not ban the use or possession of flavored tobacco products, only the sale.
As Culver City considers taking action on flavored vapes and tobacco products, in nearby Santa Monica their city council will simultaneously also be considering the possibility of banning flavored tobacco this evening.
If passed, a request of Santa Monica Gleam Mayor Davis and Councilmember Ted Winterer would ask City staff to review a recent report issued by the Los Angeles City Attorney on September 18, 2019, related to banning the retail sale of flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes, closely follow any actions taken by LA City Council in response and return with proposed action to “ensure a consistent regional approach in discouraging the purchase and use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes by our youth.”
In the face of the escalating public health emergency surrounding vaping, the role played by flavored e-liquids in making vaping attractive to minors, and the impact of flavored tobacco on demand for traditional tobacco products, last month Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer released a report to LA City Council detailing options for restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products in Los Angeles. Feuer recommends that the City Council enact a citywide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
“Flavored tobacco plays an outsized role in the vaping epidemic confronting our youth, and has long been a factor in increasing demand for traditional tobacco products,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Enacting a Citywide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products is the best way to safeguard our youth and protect the general public from significant health risks.”
While efforts at the federal and state level have lagged to regulate e-cigarettes, local jurisdictions have taken action. The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved on September 24 an ordinance that bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol additives, in unincorporated LA County. The City and County of San Francisco unanimously have passed an ordinance banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol. A referendum sponsored by tobacco manufacturers to overturn the San Francisco ordinance lost in an electoral landslide. San Francisco thereafter went one step further by banning the sale of all e-cigarettes lacking Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval; the ban is set to become operative at the end of 2019.