Redwood City to ban sales of flavored tobacco products, e-cigarettes

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The City Council of Redwood City voted 6-1 last week in favor of an ordinance prohibiting the sale or distribution of flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes, and prohibiting the sale of all tobacco products by pharmacies.

The ordinance, set for a second reading at City Council in December, will take effect April 1, 2022, to provide time for the city’s 58 tobacco retail license holders to take steps to comply with the new prohibitions. City staff aims to reach out to businesses to inform them of the changes and how they can comply.

Exempted from the ordinance are three restaurants — Pasha, Rockn’ Wraps and The Sandwich Spot — which can continue offering flavored tobacco for on-site hookah consumption. The ordinance, however, prohibits new tobacco retail license holders from offering flavored tobacco for on-site hookah consumption.

The city joins eight cities in San Mateo County and many more across the state and nation to ban flavored tobacco products over their health impacts, particularly to young consumers. Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, San Carlos, San Mateo, and South San Francisco have all passed similar ordinances.

Meanwhile, statewide legislation (SB 793) to ban the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products is currently on hold pending the result of a ballot measure in the Nov. 8, 2022 election.

Photo by Renz Macorol from Pexels.