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Davis city council to vote on banning sale of tobacco flavored products

Doing so would bring the city in line with Yolo County and the cities of Woodland and West Sacramento.

DAVIS, Calif. — A ban on selling flavored tobacco products could soon be coming to Davis. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the city council is scheduled to vote on whether to adopt Yolo County’s ban or create a Davis-specific version, according to Davis’ District 1 Council Member Dan Carson.

“County officials have approached the city to look into the adoption of a ban,” Carson explained.

Doing so would bring the city in line with Yolo County and the cities of Woodland and West Sacramento. Back in 2016, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco under the county’s Tobacco Retail Permit Ordinance, which affected tobacco retailers in unincorporated areas of the county.

The cities of Woodland and West Sacramento followed suit with their own bans that go into effect in April.

The county’s current ban covers flavored e-cigarettes, flavored cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco. According to city staff, the ban does not include FDA-approved nicotine products for use in treating dependence, vaping or the use of flavored tobacco products, but only the sale. It also does not cover cannabis.

“Right now we don’t know which ban we will decide, but the idea is to be consistent with the county,” Carson told ABC10.

According to Carson, being consistent will allow the city and the county to be effective. 

“These products are strategically targeted and marketed to kids and we need to protect or youth,” he said. “We want to be careful that they don’t have three sets of rules that they have to comply with, that it’s simple and straight forward, but on the other hand, we need something that’s effective."

Tobacco products under the ban include any products artificial or natural flavors, including menthol, strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, or cherry.

According to a staff report prepared for Tuesday’s council meeting, “Banning the sale of flavored tobacco and flavored tobacco products within city limits is a start in addressing the concern that flavored tobacco products are primarily marketed to youth.”

Carson says a ban in Davis would help make sure that people don’t go shopping from one community to another looking for tobacco flavored products.

“We just want to make sure that everywhere in our county gets treated the same way,” he said.

Carson emphasized it is not the city’s intention to harm any of the 21 vendors in Davis. He also cited information from the California Department of Public Health, which found more than 80 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 who have ever used tobacco started the use with a flavored product.

Tuesday’s city council meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m.

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