Should city’s ban flavored tobacco products? On Veteran’s Day, a panel convened at the City of Refuge, to discuss the unintended consequences of how a ban on flavored tobacco will negatively impact African-Americans.
Many cities, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Fremont, Long Beach, San Francisco and incorporated County of Los Angeles, have already implemented such a ban.
Cities are seeking to ban a product consumed by nearly 80% of African-Americans.
When all you have is a hammer, everyone looks like a nail.Professor Jody Armour, USC Gould School of Law
Those assembled heard from Congressman Kendrick Meeks, Pastor KW Tullos, Elder Joe Paul, Jody Armour, Professor of Law and members of the law enforcement community, who discussed how persons using banned substances are magnets for traffic stops.
Former LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey is a mother of three sons. She explained she rose through the ranks of the department, under the administration of former Chief Darryl Gates.
Gates had a notorious history of how he wanted the Black commuity policed, which vastly differed from other parts of the city.
Where there is opportunity, there are opportunists.Elder Joe Paul, City of Refuge
A ban on tobacco could lead to more instances of a thriving black market, which is how NYPD officers were able to engage Eric Garner, for selling loose cigarettes.
If a convenience/liquor store owner is found to be selling loose cigarettes, they face either a fine and/or suspension of their tobacco license. Garener’s punishment was death by chokehold.
Professor Jody Armour is well known for his openeness of how he became a lawyer. His father was convicted for selling marijuana, and while in jail, taught himself the law and won his conviction.
Armour speaks out regularly on issues surrounding the criminalization of drugs as a tool to incarcerate Black men. The proposed ban, currently being considered by the city of Los Angeles, would have far reaching effects for a city that has a 56% population of people of color.
Pastor KW Tullos is not a smoker, but does find the issue alarming when it comes to preserving citizens right to choose.
Despite the language of the ban being geared towards curbing the youth from becoming addicted, this ban will have more severe consequences for the adults who will no longer be able to purchase the products either.
As the homeless issue continues to spiral out of control, with many of them being dually diagnosed wight mental issues and substance abuse problems, cigarettes are a natural way to curb their nerves and in some cases, wean them off of nicotine.
The panel members are adamant that a ban of this mangnitude will cause more harm than good.
Days before this discussion, health experts with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that Vitamin E acetate as the possible culprit behind the vaping deaths sweeping the nation. The panel definitely supports a ban on vaping, but not flavored tobacco.
CDC officials found vitamin E acetate, an oil derived from the vitamin, in all 29 samples of lung fluid collected from patients who had fallen ill or died of lung injuries. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, was also found in 23 patients, including three who said they had not used THC products. Nicotine was detected in 16 of 26 patients. Most patients who have fallen ill in the outbreak have vaped THC, officials have said.Center for Disease Control
Also on hand for the discussion were Sen. Steve Bradford, Carson Councilman Jawane Hilton, Rev J.J. from the Watts Task Force, who all rally behind the city of Los Angeles not implementing a full ban of flavored tobacco products.
Some of the panel members, from outside the city of Los Angeles, found the position on tobacco somewhat hypocritical, considering many cities have approved medicinal and recreational marijuana sales in their city.
With the exception of Beverly Hills, all of the above cities who have banned flavored tobacco products, are allowing the sales of cannabis.