Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Each year, tobacco usage causes the death of 40,000 Californians, and nearly half a million individuals in the U.S. Recent estimates suggest that 441,000 Californians under 18 today will die from a tobacco-related disease. To help address this issue, on October 28, 2019, Culver City’s City Council adopted an ordinance that bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol. In most cases, tobacco retailers (including grocery and convenience stores, gas stations, etc.) have until May 25, 2020 before the ban takes effect, in order to give them an opportunity to sell off their flavored tobacco product inventory. Retailers qualifying as a tobacco store have an additional six months to comply with the ban, and the hookah lounge located in Culver City is exempt from the ban.
“Tobacco and other types of smoking or vaping products remain a public health problem across our country – especially with children and diverse communities, who, for decades, seem to be targets of ‘Big Tobacco,’” said Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells. “With flavors such as strawberry and vanilla and marketing resembling that of popular candy brands, our City Council recognizes that young people, in particular, are susceptible to the appeal and addictive qualities of flavored tobacco products.”
Mayor Sahli-Wells continued, “By voting in favor of a citywide ban on flavored and menthol tobacco products, the City Council strives to protect the health, safety and welfare of our youth.”
For more information on the sale of flavored/menthol tobacco products in Culver City, please visit the City’s web page on this topic at www.culvercity.org/flavorban.