Dear Pasadena Now Editor,
On November 1, 2021, the Pasadena City Council unanimously approved a Flavored Tobacco Sales ban in Pasadena. A coalition of volunteers, pediatricians, and representatives from Day One, The American Heart Association and The American Cancer Society all gave testimony at the first reading of the ordinance, held on October 25, 2021.
The ordinance prohibits the sale and distribution within the city of mentholated cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, including flavored products for electronic smoking devices, including electronic smoking device liquids, flavored little cigars, flavored hookah, and tobacco look-alike products. Flavored tobacco products, including flavored hookah, disguise the harshness of tobacco and according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 81% of youth who have ever used tobacco products started with a flavored product.
There is a growing movement by policy makers at all levels to prohibit the sale of flavored and mentholated tobacco products. Five states and hundreds of cities have taken action. At least 310 localities nationwide have passed restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products including at least 120 specifically restricting the sale of menthol cigarettes. In California, 109 jurisdictions have passed flavored tobacco bans, including unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and the cities of Beverly Hills, Burbank, Carson, Compton, Culver City, Cudahy, El Monte, Glendale, Hermosa Beach, Laguna Niguel, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Maywood, Redondo Beach, West Hollywood and Ventura.
The Tobacco Ordinance Amendments will prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products but not its use, except where already prohibited. For example, California state law prohibits smoking in indoor places and the Pasadena Municipal Code prohibits smoking in certain outdoor public spaces, including unenclosed areas of bars and restaurants. Use of flavored tobacco products, including flavored hookah, in indoor settings and unenclosed areas of bars and restaurants would continue to be prohibited.
Ending the sale of menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars and flavored vaping products will have a positive impact on our community’s health now and into the future.
Director of Tobacco Prevention Programs
Got something to say, email Managing Editor André Coleman, at andrec@pasadenanowmagazine.