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Long Beach Moves Forward With Permanent Flavored-Tobacco Ban

The vote comes more than a year after the temporary ban approval

The City Council voted unanimously at its Tuesday, Feb. 9, meeting to move ahead with a prohibition on the sale of flavored tobacco, except for hookah and premium cigars. The ban will have to come back to the panel before it becomes law, and the city will likely give a three-month grace period to businesses to sell any remaining stock they have before the ban will be enforced.

The vote came more than a year after the Long Beach City Council first approved a temporary ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, which expired last month. It also came after a statewide bill that would have prohibited the same products, which was intended to go into effect Jan. 1, was placed on hold because of a referendum that was placed on the 2022 state ballot. At that point, all California voters will have a chance to weigh in on whether businesses should be banned from selling flavored tobacco products.

But Long Beach’s Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy told council members during Tuesday’s meeting that her department believes the city should act now to protect public health. Because so many young people are drawn into tobacco use through flavored products, she said, banning them could have a significant impact on youth tobacco use in Long Beach.

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