Washington D.C. Passes Flavored Tobacco Sales Ban

Flavors (including Menthol)

Washington, D.C.’s mayor has signed into law a policy that will prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products except for flavored hookah sold at hookah bars.

Notably, the Washington, D.C. policy has also specifically given inspection authority to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs rather than city police. This is in line with recommended practices to decriminalize commercial tobacco and address systemic racism in the enforcement of commercial tobacco control. None of the above policies include penalties for purchase, use, or possession – they focus enforcement on the retailer. Learn more here and watch a recorded webinar on equitable enforcement in commercial tobacco control.

In addition, while this policy includes menthol cigarettes and most other tobacco products, it does follow a recent trend in exempting hookah. This fact sheet from the Public Health Law Center outlines why keeping hookah tobacco in flavored sales restrictions is important for health equity.

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