Councilmember O'Farrell Introduces Motion to Regulate Sales of Flavored Tobacco Products to Young Angelenos

Los Angeles City Hall

MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Arranaga

LOS ANGELES  -- In an effort to clamp down on sales of tobacco products that target minors and young adults, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a motion requesting the City Attorney and Chief Legislative Analyst to report on a strategy aimed at protecting kids from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine products.

Snuff, hookah, and liquid nicotine solution are just a few of the substances on the market that contain tobacco and tobacco nicotine, but are not subject to the same restrictions as traditional cigarettes. O’Farrell says these products present new public health threats to our youth and young adults, and are designed to appeal to children. The attention-grabbing flavors include: bubblegum, grape, and chocolate.

“Tobacco companies continue to target our youth with their cleverly designed advertising campaigns," said O’Farrell. “We see right through their cynical ploy to increase sales of these dangerous products. This latest action builds on my advocacy for protecting our kids and helping them live healthier, longer lives.”

The motion that was introduced last Friday requests the City Attorney, along with the Chief Legislative Analyst, to report on a proposed strategy to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products to youth and young adults and to further report on the way and means of how other cities are addressing this issue.

The research done by the FDA shows that the consumption of flavored tobacco products such as cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah tobacco, and liquid nicotine solution (used in electronic smoking devices) have increased among Middle School and High School students in recent years. The Agency recently began “the real cost” initiative in September of 2018 to address these issues.

Strong evidence supports the finding that youth and young adults are particularly vulnerable to sweet flavors and menthol, and are largely driving this increased uptake and sustained use of flavored tobacco products.

The City Attorney’s Tobacco Enforcement Program (TEP) is responsible for enforcing the

Tobacco Retailer’s Permit Ordinance. The TEP is responsible for ensuring that the City’s more than 4,500 tobacco retailers are properly permitted in accordance with the Ordinance and responsible for ensuring that permitted retailers are complying with local and State laws regulating tobacco sales, particularly the prohibition against sales to persons under 21 years of age.

The City of Los Angeles has been a leader in eliminating the exposure to the general public of

harmful tobacco smoking products. In 2014, the City Council approved an ordinance amending Sections 41.50 and 63.44 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (Council File No. 13-1204-S1) revising the definition of smoking to include electronic smoking devices and revising various provisions regarding the prohibition of smoking in certain places, pursuant to the Motion (O’Farrell-Koretz-Parks).

The motion that was introduced last Friday will be heard in Health, Education, and Neighborhood Councils Committee early next year.