Long Beach, California is a city of more than 450,000 people located south of Los Angeles and west of Anaheim. It is also on the verge of a ban on flavored tobacco. On February 9th, their city council unanimously passed a vote that extends a temporary flavored tobacco ban, making it permanent. The vote can easily be seen as a response to the pushback that is delaying a flavored tobacco ban at the state level.
Of course, there will be some exceptions. Hookah tobacco is exempt, as are premium cigars. It’s worth noting that “premium” is defined as cigars that cost a minimum of $12 wholesale. That, however, is where the exemptions end.
Long Beach’s ban still needs to pass another council vote to go into law, but it is almost certain that it will be approved. Once law, retailers would be given a three-month grace period in which they could get the last of these products off their shelves.
Still, there is a chance that things could change in the future. According to one of the council members, Suzie Price, Long Beach may reassess the situation if California voters reject the flavored tobacco ban on the ballot next year. That means that come 2022, the future of flavored tobacco in the Golden State will likely be in the hands of the people.