New York City - ban on flavored tobacco products becomes law..

October 29, 2009 - The City Council voted, on Wednesday, October 14th to expand on the Food and Drug Administration’s action to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes by banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products in New York City (NYC). At this time a spokesperson for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg indictated that mayor supports the legislation, which now goes to his desk. (New York City bans the sale of flavored tobacco products..)

On Wednesday October 28, 2009, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed legislation to prohibit the sale of most forms of flavored tobacco products in New York City. The new law is more extensive than the federal Food and Drug Administration’s ban on candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes, which took effect last month.

The legislation covers “chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb or spice flavors,” but exempts “tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen flavors.”

The city ban includes cigars and smokeless tobacco, while the federal ban is limited to cigarettes. That ban prohibits the sale of cigarettes with “an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee.”

While the city’s adult smoking rate has fallen — a development that the mayor has repeatedly trumpeted as a public health success — the Council said that the proportion of public high school students in the city who said they smoked only cigars and cigarillos had tripled since 2001. Flavored tobacco products are often marketed at the young.

Violators of the new city law may be fined up to $2,000 or have their tobacco-vending license suspended.

Reference: Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products Becomes City Law by Sewell Chan,, 10/28/2009.

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