Los Angeles, Calif -
California Missed Chance Earlier this Year; City of Los Angeles has Opportunity to Make Up Lost Ground in Two Weeks or Will it Give Big Tobacco an Early Christmas Present?
California is once again leaving kids vulnerable to the lure of flavored tobacco products while Massachusetts becomes the leader in addressing the current youth e-cigarette epidemic, now one of the nation’s biggest public health threats.
Today, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that that will prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the Commonwealth, including menthol cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, hookah and cigars.
The following can be attributed to Jim Knox, Managing Director American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) California:
“While the California Legislature missed opportunity after opportunity this year to help bring a halt to the youth e-cigarette epidemic, more than 30 cities and counties in this state and now Massachusetts have staked a claim as leaders in the fight against the tobacco industry.
“Massachusetts follows 34 cities and counties in California, starting with San Francisco and including Sacramento and Los Angeles County, that passed similar all-encompassing flavored tobacco sales restrictions to safeguard kids from a potential lifetime addiction to nicotine.
“It is a travesty that some kids are shielded in California and some kids are not. Every child in every city deserves protection from Big Tobacco. Unprotected kids live in the City of Los Angeles, and in the City and County of San Diego.
“The City of Los Angeles will finally take up a proposed ordinance to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco on December 5th and we hope San Diego City and County will follow suit shortly after the first of the year. Our kids have been waiting far too long. ACS CAN has joined health organizations and community groups to form the L.A. Families Fighting Flavored Tobacco coalition.
“Any flavored tobacco ordinances considered must be akin to what the Los Angeles City Attorney has recommended. That means they must include menthol and mint, which are popular among youth because the flavors mask the harsh taste of tobacco, as well as include all tobacco products including menthol cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and hookah.
“Will the City of Los Angeles do the right thing for our kids or will they give an early Christmas present to Big Tobacco?
“And, California state lawmakers, please don’t waste more time when you come back to the Capitol in the new year. Our kids’ futures are at stake and a whole new generation of tobacco users will trigger a heavy toll on our tobacco-related health care costs down the road if we don’t act soon.”