San Francisco approves ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarette liquids

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San Francisco residents overwhelmingly voted to uphold a ban on all flavored tobacco, together with menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarette liquids.

Town’s supervisors permitted the measure final summer season, however tobacco big R.J. Reynolds and a coalition of companies and trade associations challenged it. Almost 70 % of voters supported the ban, in response to San Francisco’s election outcomes.

Tuesday’s vote ends a marketing campaign that pitted Massive Tobacco towards former New York mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg and public well being teams. R.J. Reynolds, the maker of best-selling menthol cigarette model Newport, poured greater than $11.6 million into the hassle. Bloomberg donated $1.eight million of the $2.three million raised by supporters of the ban.

The outcomes might spark momentum for different cities to pursue comparable laws. On the very least, it’s a reminder of the rising scrutiny across the function flavors play in attracting folks to tobacco and nicotine merchandise.

“San Francisco’s groundbreaking legislation stands – and can cease the tobacco trade from concentrating on youngsters, African Individuals and different populations with menthol- and candy-flavored merchandise, because the trade has performed for much too lengthy,” Marketing campaign for Tobacco-Free Youngsters President Matthew Myers mentioned in an announcement. “The San Francisco vote offers a robust enhance to rising efforts across the nation to finish the sale of flavored tobacco merchandise.”

In an announcement, Bloomberg mentioned the vote marks “an essential step ahead” for public well being in San Francisco and exhibits the tobacco trade could be defeated, regardless of how a lot cash it spends.

A spokesman for R.J. Reynolds mentioned the vote is a “setback” for hurt discount efforts. E-cigarette makers and even the Meals and Drug Administration have adopted the concept these merchandise can be utilized to modify grownup people who smoke onto nicotine options which are doubtlessly much less dangerous than smoking standard cigarettes.

Nonetheless, critics query whether or not fruity flavors like creme brulee and mango actually attraction to adults who’re used to tobacco taste. Skepticism has elevated as Juul, a glossy e-cigarette, has change into well-liked with youngsters throughout the nation.

Opponents have referred to as on the FDA to restrict the usage of flavors. The company mentioned in March it would contemplate the function they play in serving to grownup people who smoke give up smoking cigarettes and attracting teenagers to e-cigarettes.

That is the larger potential threat for tobacco shares, Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog wrote Wednesday in a notice to shoppers. Herzog thinks a federal menthol ban is “extraordinarily unlikely” however one thing for the trade to observe.

Menthol represents about 35 % of the full trade’s cigarette quantity, Herzog mentioned. British American Tobacco, which acquired R.J. Reynolds final 12 months, and Altria have main shares within the house.

Within the meantime, different communities might observe San Francisco’s lead. California neighbor Oakland permitted an analogous ban in September that is scheduled to take impact this 12 months. New Jersey lawmakers drafted laws of their very own earlier this 12 months that might prohibit menthol cigarettes.

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