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10/01/2021

Tackling Tobacco: September 2021 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

Bangor, Maine, moves to become the first city in the state to enact a flavored tobacco ban.
Melissa Kress
Senior News Editor
Melissa Kress profile picture
Changes in legislation headline

NATIONAL REPORT — Tobacco legislation and regulation is constantly under review at the local, state and federal levels. In this monthly roundup, Convenience Store News highlights the latest proposals and approved changes happening across the United States.

CALIFORNIA

Downey — The Downey City Council is reviewing a proposal to regulate tobacco sales, including requiring retailers to obtain a tobacco retail permit, prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, and creating buffer zones to prohibit tobacco sales near certain areas like schools. Existing retailers would be grandfathered in if buffer zones are established.

Goleta — The Goleta City Council voted in favor of a proposal to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products. Local lawmakers will hold a second a reading of the ordinance on Oct. 5. More than 30 businesses in the city would be impacted by the ban.

Los Angeles — The city's attorney is requesting the Los Angeles City Council include hookah tobacco products in the proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in the city. In June, the council directed city attorney Mike Feuer to draft an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco in Los Angeles, with the exception of hookah.

Under the proposed measure, which Feuer's office sent to the city council in mid-September, existing smokers lounges will be able to sell hookah products for on-site or off-site consumption, but tobacco retail stores will be banned from selling flavored tobacco, including hookah tobacco.

San Jose — The San Jose City Council voted Sept. 28 on a measure to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. The vote follows a recent survey that found nearly three quarter of San Jose voters supported the proposal. The council will take a second vote on the ordinance before the rule is final.

MASSACHUSETTS

Brookline — The owners of Brookline Sunoco, One Stop Market and Commonwealth Mobil filed suit against the town over its ban on sale of the tobacco and vapor products to consumers born after Jan. 1, 2000. The legal challenge argues the ordinance conflicts with Massachusetts' Tobacco 21 rule and denies some legal adults the right to buy tobacco.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey approved Brookline's law banning tobacco and vape sales to anyone born after Jan. 1, 2000 this summer. Town officials approved the rule, which is the first in the United States, in November. The law went into effect Sept. 27.

MAINE

Bangor — A Bangor City Council committee approved a draft ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in early September. The proposal includes menthol cigarettes. If passed into law, Bangor would become the first municipality in Maine to enact such a ban. It would take effect in 2022.

About the Author

Melissa Kress is Senior News Editor of Convenience Store News. Read More