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Garcetti Approves Ban On Menthol And Other Flavored Tobacco Products

Packs of menthol cigarettes, some featuring the Camel logo, on display in a store.
Packs of menthol cigarettes are displayed for sale in a smoke shop on April 28, 2022 in Los Angeles.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law an ordinance restricting the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, with an exemption for existing hookah lounges.

The ordinance was passed unanimously by the L.A. City Council last week.

The head of the American Lung Association said L.A. is the biggest city in the country to do so, and describes the decision as a "tremendous step in public health (that) will save lives."

Councilmember Paul Koretz said at the time that tobacco companies are using flavor to target kids to replace their dying customers.

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“If we take this tool away, and we ban flavored tobacco and flavored tobacco products, I think we will see in our lifetimes — and pretty quickly perhaps — the end of high levels of smoking in California and in Los Angeles,” he said.

L.A. County supervisors approved a similar ban in 2019, though it only pertains to unincorporated areas.

A state law restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products was suspended after a referendum, backed by the tobacco industry, made it onto the November ballot. Voters will get to decide whether to repeal the ban.

The new rules are set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

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