Calling for a ban on flavored nicotine products, San Francisco residents on Tuesday voted in favor of ground-breaking Proposition E.
Flavored cigars, menthol cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and vaping devices were included in one of the nation’s first industry-wide prohibitions.
Proposition E was “easily passed,” SFChronicle.com reported.
The legislation was initially approved by the Board of Supervisors last June. It was eventually placed on hold when rivals, spurred by Big Tobacco, presented enough opposing signatures to create a ballot referendum.
Winston-Salem, N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company reportedly paid approximately $12 million on a media campaign opposing the ban.
It didn’t help.
Supervisor Malia Cohen originally sponsored the legislation, in part, to keep minors from developing a smoking habit.
With San Francisco at the point of the prohibition charge, additional Bay Area communities have explored similar legislation to expand the flavor ban, according to sfchronicle.com.
Retail establishments, such as grocery stores and smoke shops, certainly will face a loss in revenue. Some businesses could be forced to close, critics said.
Opponents also lamented a prohibition on flavored nicotine would drive customers to buy banned products underground.
With 42 days remaining in the period for posting comments to the U.S. Federal Drug Agency regarding further flavor bans, a wave of support is needed. As of mid-day Thursday, the FDA listed 13,922 comments, which is well below the target needed to create a significant difference.