Cities around the state of California have had mixed reactions to a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. Most cities, with low minority population, have chosen to ban the products. One predominantly Black and Latino populated city voted against the ban.
The city of Compton, of roughly 100,000 residents agreed that youths use of e-cigarettes was on the rise and that they were in favor of banning those products for sell within city limits, however, they removed language regarding flavored tobacco, particularly menthol, citing economic and civil rights issues.
The city received an inordinate amount of feedback on tobacco retailers who wanted to preserve both their rights to sell and their customers right to purchase.
The state of California is facing an unheard of economic crisis related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The state is also facing strong community pushback to defund law enforcement departments, whose responsibilities include enforcement of such bans.
2UrbanGirls urges state legislatures to support the comprehensive e-cigarette package, excluding menthol products, presented by Sen. Adam Gray. His package includes:
- Restrict the packaging and marketing of e-cigarettes
- Mandate decoy sting operations
- Establish reasonable penalties for youth in possession of tobacco products
- Ramp up enforcement efforts and penalties against retailers who sell to kids
- Restrict the availability of flavored e-cigarettes
- Mandate age verification technology at the point of sale and delivery
Which touches all areas identified by his colleagues to address the rise in the use of tobacco products by the youth.@
We watched Rancho Cordova PD violently arrest a youth for simple possession of a tobacco product. This prompted outrage from Black clergy members, activists and the community at-large that these bans are particularly harmful to minorities.
State Senators are preparing to vote on SB 793 which seeks to ban the sale of flavored tobacco statewide which will further reduce revenue to both local cities and the state at a time when every dime is needed to keep our great state up and running.
Californians have been forced to stay home since March and have lost income from job loss, closing their business with some unable to reopen. There has been no mortgage forgiveness and quite frankly we are all stressed out and cigarettes provide relief for those who choose to use them.
Senator Steve Bradford, faces harsh criticism from residents, who have been showing up at his door to encourage him to stop disenfranchising the voice of his constituents. Whether its a hostile takeover of a local water board, to his prior attempts to ban saggy pants to his new crusade to support the ban of cigarettes shows he is out of touch with his residents and is looking out for his own selfish needs as opposed to the residents he represents.
SB 793 is essentially penalizing upstanding retailers that are legally selling to adults of legal age to smoke. This bill should not be passed and deprive the state and city’s of revenue and the means to enforce the legal sales of these products to consenting adults.