San Pablo is set to become the latest Bay Area city to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
On Nov. 5, the city’s Council voted 3-1 in favor of amending the city’s ordinance to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products citywide, including menthol and e-cigarettes; to establish a minimum pack size of 6 for cigars, cigarillos and little cigars, and to establish a minimum price for cigars of $10 per cigar.
The ordinance amendment will return for a second vote at Council’s Nov. 19 meeting. Should it pass, it would take effect February next year, city officials said.
The aim of the ban, according to city staff, is to reduce the sale of an unhealthy product that is marketed to kids with the aim of getting them addicted to tobacco. Richmond, El Cerrito and Contra Costa County have passed similar bans, along with San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley and several North Bay jurisdictions. Alameda is currently going through the ordinance amendment process.
In San Pablo, there are between 30 and 50 tobacco retailers, according to the state Board of Equalization. Of them, 28 are within 1,000 feet of a public school, the city said.