The city of San Francisco a while ago banned all sweet-flavoured tobacco products. This included menthol cigarettes, Swisher sweet cigars and candy-flavoured e-cigs.
A group challenged the ban and gathered enough signatures to put the issue on a ballot, asking that this ban be repealed. This movement is called, “Let’s Be Real, San Francisco.”
People behind the repeal are mostly small grocers –the Arab American Grocers Association, a number of vaping outlets and (of course) the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (which is probably funded by Big Tobacco)
Funded almost entirely by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the committee was able to collect almost $700,000 in contributions and collect just under 20,000 valid signatures in barely a month after the ordinance was signed in early July..
Yeah … so my old pal, RJR is really behind this, not the Arab American Grocers Association.
Anyway, the Board of Supervisors for San Francisco had the opportunity to repeal their decision, but declined, meaning the whole issue will go to a public vote.
The issue could go to a vote by June 2018. Now, looking at how Big Tobacco just got their ass kicked in California, I’m cautiously optimistic that this measure will fail (which means the ban will stay in place).
Flavoured tobacco products is a pet peeve of mine because it’s fairly blatant at times these products are marketed to help get teens hooked on tobacco. Candy-flavoured cigarettes have been banned for years, but not menthols (which are popular with black smokers) and not candy-flavoured e-cig products. The e-cig issue is near and dear to me because the use of e-cigs by teens has skyrocketed in the past five or six years, and it pisses me off to see cherry-flavoured, orange-flavoured and raspberry-flavoured liquid nicotine being sold to teenagers at minimarts. When the FDA began regulating e-cigs, the agency pointedly avoided dealing with the issue of candy-flavoured e-cig products. Maybe San Francisco can lead the way.