New York City bans the sale of flavored tobacco products..

October 16, 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. The bill (Intro 433-A Flavored Tobacco) was approved by a vote of 46 to 1.

The New York ban restricts all flavored tobacco products such as little cigars, chewing tobacco and cigarillos, to close off loopholes through adding flavoring agents to products, city officials said in the report. This legislation does not apply to tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen flavors.

Maine and New Jersey, have already have banned exotically flavored cigarettes and cigars.

A spokesperson for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told the mayor supports the legislation, which now goes to his desk. If it is signed into law, any New York City tobacco retailer, including convenience stores, found selling flavored tobacco will be subject to a $2,000 fine for the first offense, and subsequent offenses could result in a loss of its business license. Mayor Bloomberg has 10 days to decide to sign or veto the measure. If signed, the ban could go into effect in 120 days.

"No matter how you mask it, smoking tobacco, flavored or not, has irrevocable health effects. Companies are profiting by gambling on the lives of children and young adults, and it's simply unconscionable," Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said in the report. "Our legislation will protect New Yorkers from harmful products disguised with attractive wrapping or sweet flavors and prevent the beginning of an addictive and useless habit."

She added: "Anyone who tells you that these bubblegum, cookie dough, chocolate chip, little cigarillos shaped like a pink lip gloss -- don't tell me that's not targeted at a young girl. These are not being bought by 50-year-old women, the data shows that."

Among public high school students in NYC who smoke, the percentage who smoke cigars and cigarillos only, has nearly tripled since 2001. A single cigar can contain as much tobacco as five cigarettes and some small cigars are practically indistinguishable from cigarettes, but cost significantly less. Flavored products are often targeted to children through the use of multi-color images, packaging and youth-oriented messaging.

The bill's sponsor, Council member Joel Rivera, said these brands are the latest rendition of Joe Camel -- the R. J. Reynolds character allegedly aimed at kids who was banned in the 1990s.

The lone dissenter Council member Lewis Fidler admitted he smoked a grape cigar from time to time, Fidler said the law was written too broadly, and there was no evidence that people start smoking by opting for flavored tobacco. It is illegal already, he added, to sell these products to kids. "If we wanted to truly affect the market for young people, we would tax it, and we would make the tax significant enough to make an economic disincentive for it to be used for blunts or any other purpose," said Fidler.

Letter from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) has sent to New York City Council members opposing the bill banning flavored tobacco products.

Back in May 2009 a representative of Altria's tobacco companies, which includes Philip Morris, said regulation of tobacco products should be left to the federal government. And Audrey Silk of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) said adults are being punished in the name of restricting tobacco sales to minors. (New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals..)

Reference: Going Beyond Federal Action, NYC Council Votes To Bar Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products In New York City, THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
CITY HALL, NEW YORK, NY 10007, Release# 099-2009, 10/15/2009; City Council bills would ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals by Frank Lombardi, DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU, 5/22/2009; New York City to Ban Flavored Tobacco, Convenience Store News, 10/15/2009; New York City To Ban Flavored Cigars by Andrew Nagy,, 10/14/2009; NYC passes flavored tobacco ban,, 10/14/2009.

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candy flavored