On April 18th, San Francisco Supervisor, Malia Cohen, announced a proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and other flavored products within the city. Menthol is the only flavor excluded from the 2009 federal ban on flavored cigarettes. The tobacco industry targets African-American and LGBTQ communities in particular with menthol cigarette advertisements and products. Youth are particularly targeted when it comes to other flavored tobacco products, such as cigarillos and e-cigarettes, which are included in the proposed ban.
While other localities across the country have implemented policies prohibiting or restricting sales of flavored tobacco, most have exempted menthol cigarettes. Those that have included menthol, Chicago and Berkeley, only restrict the sale of the product near schools. San Francisco could become the first city to prohibit the sales of menthol cigarettes entirely.
A similar ordinance has now been proposed to Oakland City Council as menthol and broader flavored product bans begin to gain traction. The state of California has also recently imposed a higher tax on cigarettes and raised the smoking age to 21.
Find more on the San Francisco ban here.
You can also learn more about Menthol, Flavored Tobacco, and tobacco industry’s targeted advertising from the following links: