OAKLAND, Calif. -- Having pledged its support for San Francisco’s efforts, Oakland, Calif., lawmakers are moving forward with a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes and blunt wraps in the city, according to the East Bay Times.
With final approval expected in September, the City Council unanimously showed support on July 19 for a bill to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco after hearing from about 90 public speakers, the news source reported.
Cosponsors of the ban, Annie Campbell Washington, the city’s vice mayor, and Larry Reid, concil president, have said diseases related to smoking account for the majority of deaths in Oakland.
The vote in Oakland follows similar bans approved in San Francisco on June 20 and in unincorporated Contra Costa County, Calif., on July 12. A group representing tobacco industry stakeholders, vaping affiliates and a grocer association is collecting signatures to put a referendum measure on the ballot to reverse the ban in San Francisco.
The Minneapolis City Council is expected to vote Aug. 2 on a ban of the sale of menthol tobacco products in conveniene stores.
If the Oakland law receives a second approval, it would go into effect in 2018.