City continues its outreach efforts before Jan. 1 ban on the sale of flavored tobacco

The City of Sacramento’s Community Development Department has spent the past several months performing educational outreach to local retailers to help them prepare for the upcoming citywide ban on the selling of flavored tobacco.

Beginning Jan. 1, it will be illegal to sell, distribute or offer for sale flavored tobacco and flavored tobacco products within the City of Sacramento.

Examples of flavored tobacco products include but are not limited to mentholated cigarettes, flavored cigars and cigarillos, flavored electronic cigarettes and vape and hookah products that contain nicotine.

The Sacramento City Council passed the flavored tobacco ban in April 2019 to strengthen tobacco regulations and reduce access of these products to young people. Amendments to the ordinance updated the definition of “tobacco product” to include electronic cigarettes and vaping products and incorporated a 1,000-foot proximity requirement between tobacco retailers operating in city limits.

“When it comes to flavored tobacco, there are big changes on the horizon,” said Jose Mendez, code enforcement manager for the City. “We have been reaching out to local retailers and providing workshops and materials to ensure business owners understand the various components of the ordinance. In addition, code enforcement officers will inspect each retailer throughout the year to ensure compliance.”

Enforcement of the sales ban begins in January. The licenses of retailers caught selling, distributing or offering for sale any flavored tobacco products are subject to suspension and administrative fines of up to $25,000.

Under the new ordinance, residents still can consume flavored tobacco products. The only change concerning the public is that flavored tobacco products will not be available for purchase within the city limits.

For more information, please visit the City’s tobacco retailer license page or email BC@cityofsacramento.org with questions.

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