The Board of Supervisors, at its Jan. 11 meeting, introduced an ordinance amending the Sacramento County Code Chapter 4.07, banning flavored tobacco sales to any person in the unincorporated area of Sacramento County. The ordinance will continue to the Jan. 25 Board meeting for adoption, and will go into effect July 25, 2022.
The ordinance amends the Tobacco Retailer Business License (SCC Chapter 4.07), originally approved by the Board in 2004, that aimed to reduce youth access to tobacco and smoking products.
The ordinance revision bans the sale of flavored tobacco to any person in the unincorporated area of the County, regardless of age. The ban includes flavored cigarettes and cigars, and any other flavored product containing tobacco or nicotine that may be ingested. All cigarette products with smells and flavors besides tobacco are prohibited from being sold. Violation of the ordinance can result in suspension or revocation of a Tobacco Retailer License.
Additionally, retailers may not purchase flavored tobacco inventory for sale between the ordinance’s adoption and effective date.
A significant percentage of electronic cigarettes offered by tobacco retailers contain flavored nicotine, which come in a variety of sweet or minty flavors attractive to youths. In 2016, 82 percent of tobacco retailers in California sold flavored non-cigarette tobacco products, more than 90 percent sold menthol cigarettes, and 80 percent of tobacco retailers near schools sold flavored non-cigarette tobacco products.
Mentholated and flavored products have been shown to be starter products for youths who begin using tobacco and establish tobacco habits that can lead to long-term addiction. The ordinance will reduce the potential for youths to begin or continue using tobacco products.