City Council President Larry Reid and Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington (In blue dress) speak at press conference in favor of a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes and sweetened tobacco products. Photo by Ken Epstein.
The Oakland City Council this week unanimous approved an ordinance that would keep flavored tobacco products – including menthol-flavored cigarettes – from youth.
If approved at a second vote, the new law would go into effect in mid-2018.
“Flavored tobacco products – including menthol cigarettes and candy – are a key part of the industry’s strategy to bait youth, particularly youth of color, into becoming tomorrow’s addicted users. The American Heart Association strongly supports the Oakland City Council’s decision to protect our community’s health and wellbeing from these profit-driven practices,” said Alden McDonald III, MD, president of the Board for the Greater Bay Area Division of the American Heart Association and Oakland resident.
According to a government study, 81 percent of kids who have ever tried tobacco started with a flavored product and 80 percent of current youth tobacco users had used a flavored tobacco product in the past month.